How we use Cookies

Westley tells players: "Forget the FA Cup"

THE words ‘FA Cup' are banned in the dressing room at the AIMITA Stadium this week as Farnborough Town revert their attentions back to the nitty-gritty of the Nationwide Conference.

THE words ‘FA Cup' are banned in the dressing room at the AIMITA Stadium this week as Farnborough Town revert their attentions back to the nitty-gritty of the Nationwide Conference.

Cup fever has swept through the town ever since the fine 5-1 win over Harrogate on Saturday, but now boss Graham Westley wants all thoughts of a second round trip to Southport on December 7 erased from the mind, in favour of concentrating on this Saturday's opponents, Northwich Victoria.

Westley has, however, based a large part of his team talk on Saturday's escapades - goalscoring, as his side look to build on their 2-2 draw at Witton FC seven weeks ago with a three-point maximum to get their inconsistent season underway once more.

Boro got out of the traps in blistering style on Saturday, netting five goals in the opening 35 minutes.

But that is a stark contrast to the last time they met Northwich on October 5 where they had to fight their way back from conceding twice in the opening 15 minutes.

Westley said: "I think that the key on Saturday is simply to ensure that we are on top of our game. Too often, and Northwich was one such fixture, we have reacted to our opponents scoring rather than going for them from the very start.

"I think you can expect to see us forcing the issue much more now; really going for a strong early knockout.

"Last season, we were suffering from a goal drought and then we started doing some specialist work with the forwards which saw us hitting goals for fun. That specialist work began again in training last week and it was nice to see an early reward.

"The quality of the work on the training ground has already gone onto another level this week and is permeating the entire attacking unit.

"Four scorers was no surprise to me on Saturday and I believe that these weeks could signal a strong new beginning for us."

As far as talk of the FA Cup goes, that is put on the back-burner for now. Westley added: "The league is our number one priority. Nobody is in any doubt on that. Talk of the cup finished yesterday at training. Today, we are focussing upon the game plan for this Saturday. The lads are tuning in well as we seek to improve upon last week's performance."

With the Southport game just three weeks away and a carnival-like atmosphere expected for the 200th Conference home game against Burton Albion lined-up for next week, these are busy times for Westley.

Thankfully, though, the injury-list has cleared up at the right time with Steve Watson, who failed a late fitness test for the cup game on Saturday, and Joff Vansittart, back in training after knocks.

Both are likely to be in contention for Saturday, along with Gary Holloway, whose one-match suspension is over, and Christian Lee, who is expected to recover from illness.

One person not likely to be in the frame, however, is Jim Rodwell, although Westley is still refusing to explain his mystery disappearance.

Rumours of an in-house bust-up intensified on Saturday when, in his programme notes, skipper Watson talked of the exit of a ‘wrong-un' in the camp.

He quoted: "Still can't mention no names regarding the wrong-un in the dressing room but he has spent more time in the physio room brushing his hair, painting his nails and telling a load of stories, than he has done on the training pitch…but the boys are glad to see the back of the wrong-un."

Unless that is a surprising reference to popular club captain Tim O'Shea or Gareth Gwillem, who are both out on loan, all fingers point to Rodwell, who allegedly had a run-in with Westley and the lads over the training regime.

Westley simply commented: "In Nathan Bunce, Barry Laker, Darren Annon and Christian Lee, we have four players capable of performing at an excellent level as Conference centre halves."

The boss' attentions are naturally elsewhere with Farnborough in desperate need of three points on Saturday against a Northwich side with a very impressive away record.

The Vics have won five and drawn three of the ten away fixtures so far this season - a record, which would have seen them challenge for title honours but for their wretched home form.

They will be looking to get Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup defeat by Scunthorpe out of their system, and look to striker Gregg Blundell, who currently sits second in the Conference scoring charts with 11 goals, to provide the main threat.

Latest Sports News


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area