AFC boss wants to slay the giant

AFC Sudbury’S acting manager Chris Tracey has warned Eastbourne Borough to ‘underestimate them at their peril’ ahead of Saturday’s huge FA Cup clash in east Sussex (3pm).

AFC Sudbury manager Chris Tracey has warned Eastbourne Borough to ‘underestimate them at their peril’ ahead of Saturday’s huge FA Cup clash in east Sussex (3pm).

The Suffolk side may be 58 places below their Blue Square Bet Conference South opposition but Tracey smells an FA Cup giant killing.

AFC go into the third qualifying round match knowing they are just two wins away from a possible plumb tie with the likes of League One sides Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic waiting in the first round draw.

Tracey said: “Eastbourne Borough were a Conference side and it is a massive game for us.

“Yet again, no-one will give us any chance, apart from the people involved in this football club.

“I am told it is great facilities and a lovely pitch down there, so it will be a bit like playing here to be honest. And maybe we didn’t play a couple of players on Saturday who they don’t know about because they came and watched the game, so they might underestimate us at their peril.”

Last season’s top scorer James Baker, who has played at Eastbourne’s level before with Braintree Town, scored two penalties in Tuesday’s 5-2 Suffolk Premier Cup comeback at Felixstowe and Walton United to make it three goals in three games since returning from a hamstring injury.

And Tracey, whose side saw off Ryman League Division One South side Merstham (2-0) in the last round, says his side travel to the sixth-placed Conference South outfit with no fear.

“I fancy us away from home against anyone,” he said. “If you look at our cup runs last season, we beat Truro City, and this season we went and beat Leiston when no-one gave us a chance.

“If you look in our dressing room there is a lot of quality there with players who have played at that level and it is just getting the best out of them and hopefully, they will do that on Saturday.”

Sudbury last reached the fourth qualifying round five seasons ago, narrowly missing the first round in a 2-1 home defeat to Leatherhead, but will be hoping to get another shot at the competition proper this year.

Tracey added: “The FA Cup is a magical competition. I have said to the lads I have played in the first round twice, got to the second round once and you get your five minutes of fame.

“You have to win your games at Leiston and Merstham and St Ives and then you get a tough one like Saturday and then, if you get through that, who knows?”

Defender Jemel Fox remains suspended but otherwise there is a full squad to choose from.

Follow @russclaydon on Saturday for Twitter updates from Priory Lane.