FA VASE: Andover test awaits for in-form Fairford

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Fairford Town will be gunning for another cup upset on Saturday when they welcome Andover Town to Cinder Lane in the FA Vase first round proper.

Andover ply their trade in the Wessex Premier Divison in step nine, one step above Fairford in the footballing pyramid, but Saturday’s hosts have already seen off step nine competition this season as they defeated Longlevens in the GFA Challenge Trophy.

And coupled with their eight successive league victories, Fairford boss Gareth Davies believes his side are capable of a repeat performance this weekend.

“Playing these games against higher opposition is a great yard-stick for us,” he said.

“We were very unlucky against Highworth (in the Hellenic Challenge Cup) but to get that win against Longlevens, who are an established Hellenic Premier side, showed how far the players have come.

“The Longlevens result in particular shows how we are capable of causing an upset but obviously we need to concentrate on our game.

“We can’t worry about what’s going on in the opposition dressing room and as long as we play to our strengths I’m sure we’ll give anyone a good game.”

And Davies was clear how important the FA Vase is to the players and the football club as a whole.

“Obviously financially it can be a massive boost,” he said.

“But from the playing side of things as well, the players want to do well because it is a national competition.

“We want to progress and see how far we can go.

“We haven’t got any injuries at the moment but we are training tonight (Thursday) so anything can happen!

“But at the moment we are good to go and looking forward to it.”

Highworth will also be in FA Vase action this weekend as they travel to AC London of the Combined Counties League on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Royal Wootton Bassett will be looking to bounce back from consecutive home defeats as they travel to Ardley United in the Hellenic Premier.

Shrivenham are also in league action as they face a local derby against Purton in Hellenic Division One West.