Mark Saunders insists his Tiverton Town side will not be daunted by their FA Trophy trip to Weymouth, but does admit his side will be viewed as underdogs.
Tivvy make the trip to the Bob Lucas Stadium for Saturday’s first round qualifying tie fresh from Tuesday night’s 2-1 win against local rivals Taunton Town in Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West after Joe Bushin’s third goal in two games and a Michael Nardiello penalty.
That result means Tivvy are undefeated in six games, and although the Southern League Premier Division side will start as favourites, Saunders is confident his players can give them a game.
“Weymouth will be a tough one. They have some great players – some really good players in their team,” he said.
“We will go there as underdogs but knowing we are underdogs and willing to have a really good go at them. On our day we are good enough to play any of the teams that are in the division above us.”
A bright start from an unchanged Yellows side saw them surge ahead in just the eighth minute as Bushin stole in at the near post to divert Lewis Tasker’s corner into the back of the net.
Taunton struck back via a penalty after substitute Nardiello rashly conceded a spot-kick with his first significant contribution touch.
However, the striker spared his blushes by winning a penalty which he converted himself to hand Tiverton the three points, with a Taunton player being sent off in the ensuing goal celebrations.
If only Bideford had started with the tempo and tenacity they finished with. The Robins bowed out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 defeat at Gosport Borough in second round qualifying last Saturday.
Goals from Lee Poate and Luke King rewarded the south coast club for a dominant first half. Perhaps the tentative start was due to recent results against their old promotion rivals. Another 2-0 defeat at home to Gosport was a harsh introduction to life in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division in August.
Gosport, promoted from Division One South and West along with Bideford last term, also ended the 25-match unbeaten run of the Robins in April
Bideford manager Sean Joyce said: “They have the Indian sign on us. They are probably the only team this year to really take us to the cleaners at our place.
“I thought we sat off in the first half [on Saturday] and showed them too much respect.”