Hot Peppers hope history repeats itself against Trojans in FA Cup
Hamilton Parish, with promotion all but secured following Sunday’s win over BAA, will hope history repeats itself when they make the journey west to meet Somerset Trojans at 8pm in a twice postponed FA Cup first round tie.
The unbeaten First Division leaders were happy to be back in action after a month without a match and are now looking to test themselves against the Premier Division opponents who have nine FA titles under their belt.
By comparison, Parish have just a lone appearance in the FA Cup final, in the 2004-2005 season when, ironically, they beat the Trojans 2-1 in the semi-final before losing 2-0 to North Village in the final.
Parish have been unbeatable against the other First Division sides, but now comes a big test against one of the most successful teams in the competition.
“Hopefully we can turn it up in Somerset,” said Macquille Walker, their hat-trick hero in the 3-2 win over BAA.
“We’re undefeated, so of course everybody is looking to beat us and we already know that. So every time we step out on the field we try to bring our best game.”
Sergio Goater, the Parish coach, estimated before the weekend game that two wins should be enough to secure promotion. He was just as happy to finally get a game in as he was with the three points.
“It was our first game back so we were trying to get the rhythm and decision making probably hurt us a little bit,” Goater said on Sunday.
“We’ve got a cup game on Wednesday (today) and that’s a big one for us, the players have been anticipating that for a long time. They have the bit between their teeth, but it is good that we had this game before that.”
Parish now need one more win from their four remaining matches to secure one of the promotion spots. They lead Boulevard by nine points and BAA by 10.
Parish have 34 points already while the most Boulevard and BAA can finish with if they win their remaining matches is 37 and 36 respectively. A win against St David’s on March 20 would clinch promotion for Parish as the lowest they could finish would be second. They also have a superior goal difference.
The match tonight is the last of the first round matches to be played, with the winners taking on Dandy Town in the quarter-finals this Sunday.
Matchups already confirmed for Sunday will see Somerset Eagles playing Devonshire Cougars and North Village hosting First Division side Boulevard while PHC will take on the winners of last night’s other rescheduled match between St David’s and Robin Hood.
PHC have an important match to focus on right now, though, as tonight they take on X-Roads in a rescheduled Premier Division fixture at Goose Gosling Field at 9pm.
This will be the Zebras’ game in hand on league leaders Dandy Town and a win for them tonight would close the gap on Town to two points with five matches remaining.