DETERMINED Farnborough Town boss Graham Westley has warned his players against complacency ahead of Saturday's potential FA Cup banana skin at Molesey.
The Surrey side may be 51 places below Boro in the non-League pyramid, but Westley is certain that their ‘nothing-to-lose' attitude will count against his troops as they look to secure a place in the first round proper for the second successive season.
After the disappointment at Halifax last year, Westley will be hoping that this is the year for a long-awaited giant-killing act — not only to balance the books but to put Boro back on the FA Cup map.
The days of West Ham may be long away but the memories live on, and Westley will feel that with lower-profile opposition standing in the way of him and a potential money-spinning clash, this could be his golden chance.
That said, Molesey are not here to make up the numbers. They have performed impressively in the FA Cup so far this season, beating Fisher Athletic (3-0), Hitchin Town (3-1) and Chertsey Town (3-1) and will be going for the jugular again come Saturday.
"Molesey will be very, very determined," Westley told the News. "They will be hungry and fight like tigers for every ball. But like every good hunter, we must combat that, while not taking liberties.
"We fear defeat far more than they do. Not only will it be a huge blow financially, but it will do irreversible damage to all of our reputations.
"In every away game you face different problems. We had a problem at Morecambe last week with the distance we had to travel, now we have a very different problem here.
"Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in the camp with the know how to face most of these problems and players who have played their football at the lower levels, who will be used to the kind of problems we will face on Saturday."
Westley has had Molesey watched on several occasions in recent weeks and has the right to fear defeat. In Joe Bruce (ex Luton Town) and Danny Wright (ex QPR) they have two midfielders with Football League pedigree, plus Nko Ekoku (brother of ex-Wimbledon striker Efan), who has plenty of experience in the top-flight of the non-League game.
The strikers too, are also ones to watch. Dean Canoville has starred in Millwall's first team, while Damien Panter is on a hot streak at present with eight goals in his last five games.
This sort of blend has led to Molesey losing just one game in their last 11, and although they are currently languishing in the lower reaches of Ryman division one (south), they are expected to be there or thereabouts in the promotion hunt come the end of the season.
Manager Peter Johnson is well aware of Boro — thanks to the help of his brother. His sibling is Yeovil boss Gary Johnson, and after the draw was made, a copy of the video in which Yeovil beat Boro 2-0 on September 3, was winging its way through the family.
Not that Peter is that popular in the Johnson household at present, however. In the last round of the FA Cup he put one over Chertsey, the side managed by his other brother Steve, who was consequently sacked the following day!
Peter said: "I'm not mum's most popular son at the moment, but still, that's football.
"Luckily Gary still leant me the video of his game with Farnborough, so I have a good idea of what to expect.
"This is the perfect draw for us, although, on first glimpse, I wouldn't have minded an easier one. We are the lower-profile team so we have nothing to lose — we may even spring a surprise, who knows.
"We're not the kind of team to stick ten men behind the ball, that's for sure. I'm pleased with the team we have assembled here and we will give Farnborough a go. They won't enjoy coming here, so we've got to use that to our advantage."
The good news for Westley ahead of Saturday, is that slowly but surely, the injury list is beginning to clear, and he has the luxury of picking from, near enough, a full strength team.
Christian Lee returns to the fold after his recent injury problems, as does fellow striker Ken Charlery. Skipper Steve Watson does play as no notification has been received following his sending off at Aldershot last Tuesday night.