Lok eager to recreate some FA Cup magic at Priory Lane

Darren Lok
Darren Lok

Darren Lok was among the 3,770 crowd at Priory Lane in 2005 when Eastbourne Borough drew 1-1 with Oxford United on the most famous FA Cup day in the club’s history.

Lok was 14-years-old and cheering from the terraces when Yemi Odubade was upended by Chris Willmott and Ollie Rowland’s retaken penalty in injury-time earned Borough a replay against League Two side Oxford.

Since then, FA Cup cheer at the Lane has been sparse. Borough made it to the first round proper twice during their time in the Conference Premier but were knocked out by Barrow and then Weymouth.

Last season, Lok was a substitute as their FA Cup progress was halted by Dover at this stage of the competition. The luck of the draw means Dover stand in their way once again.

This time Lok, now 24, wants to help his home-town club deliver some payback to Chris Kinneara’s in-form side and recreate that special FA Cup atmosphere he experienced as a young Borough fan a decade ago.

“I remember the Oxford game well,” said Lok. “I went along with a mate and the place was packed out, it was a great day and a great atmosphere, the FA Cup can do that.

“We owe Dover one after last year. We know it is going to be tough, they are a good side but we created some chances against them and this time we have got to take them.

“That could make all the difference, we have to be ruthless as a team. A chance can fall to anyone at any time and if it does, we have to take it.”

Lok is determined to be in the starting XI tomorrow but said if he is on the bench he will be fully prepared and eager to make an impact.

Speaking on Thursday, he said, “I’m not sure if I’m starting or not, the gaffer hasn’t told us yet. We have been preparing for Dover all week in training and working on our shape.

“It gives you an idea who is starting but you never know for sure. We have to train and prepare as though we are playing and then we find out.”

The striker added, “I’ve been at the club for a bit now and we haven’t had a run for a while. I would love to be part of one with Borough, it would mean a lot.

“Hopefully we can get a good crowd for Saturday. As a player it really helps to feel that support from the crowd. If we can get a good atmosphere going it can certainly help us because we know we are in for a tough game.”