Preview: Tudors focused on preventing FA Cup upset at Bury Town

Hemel Town are hoping to replicate last year's FA Cup run. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Town are hoping to replicate last year's FA Cup run. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

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Hemel Town manager Dean Brennan insists that the performance doesn’t matter at Bury Town on Saturday – he just wants to see his team in the draw for the FA Cup third qualifying round when the full-time whistle is blown.

The Tudors go into the game as strong favourites, but Brennan knows that his side can’t let their concentration slip against the Suffolk-based side.

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Bury compete in the Isthmian (Ryman) League Division One North and are unbeaten in the league so far this season; they’re currently seventh in the league table, dropping a place in midweek after a 0-0 draw against Cheshunt.

And Brennan knows that his side are in for a test, saying: “Obviously we are playing against an underdog, but they are unbeaten. They have been doing excellently in their division and we have watched their last two games, they are a good side.

“They are well organised, well drilled and have got good pace and power, so we will have to be at 100 per cent. They have got a really good togetherness and a good team spirit so we’ve got to give them a lot of respect and make sure we go there fully focussed.

“The key for us is to not get beaten, because the FA Cup has got that magic. Hopefully we can go there and get the win to put us through to the next round.”

The performance doesn’t really matter, it’s all about being in the draw for the next round.

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan

Hemel have fond memories from the FA Cup in recent years, including an historic trip to League Two side Bury in the first round proper of the competition last season. And the allure of the Cup is not lost on Brennan.

“The FA Cup is always special, it’s a special competition – especially for non-league clubs,” he continued. “I remember a game we played at Witham when we were 3-1 down with five minutes to play and we ended up winning 4-3.

“That shows just how dramatic the FA Cup can be, but we are hoping there is no such drama for us on Saturday. We just want to go there and be the better side, and win the game. The performance doesn’t really matter, it’s all about being in the draw for the next round.”

Hemel have been plagued by injuries so far this season, and they will again be without key men on Saturday.

“We are really, really stretched at the moment and that’s just how it has been for us – we’ve had no consistency or continuity in being able to select the same side twice,” said Brennan.

“Matty Spring, Eddie Oshodi, John Slabber and John Frendo are all out this weekend which is disappointing, but it’s another chance for younger players to come in and do the business.”