Sutton United v Bath City @ Borough Sports Ground
Saturday February 13 @ 15.00
Sutton United manager Paul Doswell insists he won’t let FA Trophy heartache cloud his players’ thoughts ahead of their game against Bath City.
United were finally forced to stop fantasising about a trip to Wembley when Dean Beckwith’s own goal late in extra-time sent Bognor Regis through to the quarter-finals when a penalty shootout looked all but certain.
Stuart Fleetwood’s penalty took the game to extra-time after Jason Prior’s header opened the scoring for Bognor, now Doswell is calling for calm ahead of their match against struggling Bath.
Doswell said: “Myself and Ian sat with the team after the game and just tried to convince the players our main aim is still achievable this year.
“Of course it’s disappointing as it was important to the club, important to the finances and players started to dream.
“But ultimately the cup wasn’t that important to Ian and myself because we were losing so many players through injury, and our main aim has always been to achieve promotion this season.”
Doswell also placed on record he harbours no bitterness from the Bognor game as they were the better side over two legs and wished them well as they continue their fairytale journey.
He said Beckwith is mentally prepared for the weekend after he headed into his own net on Tuesday.
Doswell said: “We’ve been chatting with Dean all week and he’s trained well.
“These are the sort of cruel things that can happen in football and unfortunately it’s happened to him, it’s just one of those things.”
United, third in the league, will be buoyed by the return of experienced defender Kevin Amankwaah ahead of their fixture with 18th placed Bath.
They also have Craig Eastmond back in the squad who came through a week of training unscathed.
Striker Craig McAllister won’t be available as a hamstring injury will keep him out for another month.
United could leapfrog Maidstone United with a point against Bath City.
Picture courtesy of SUFCTV, via YouTube, with thanks