Walsham-le-Willows joint managers Chay Budd and Ian Hubbard looking to make club history in FA Vase against Eynesbury Rovers
Joint Walsham-le-Willows boss Ian Hubbard has outlined the hunger within the squad to write their names into club history ahead of travelling into Cambridgeshire to face Eynesbury Rovers in the Isuzu FA Vase tomorrow (3pm).
The Willows are looking to make the third round of the competition for the first time after they saw off fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division outfit Lakenheath 3-1 in an away tie in the previous stage.
This is also only the third time they have made it to the second round – the previous occasions being in 2013/14 and 2020/21.
“It’s massive, we’re keen to put a marker down. The boys have worked really hard and we’re on the back of some good results,” said Hubbard.
“There’s a good buzz around the club. We’ve filled the bus with supporters who are going to come along and hopefully it will be a good day out for everyone.
“We’ve got a big focus on the Vase and we are really up for making history for the club.”
Tomorrow’s opponents ply their trade in the United Counties Football League Premier Division South and currently sit 17th in the standings.
Hubbard said: “We had a couple of guys go and watch them a few weeks ago so we have a few notes. Like any team at Step 5 they’ve got some dangerous players. They have similar league form to us and they’re in this round of the competition for a reason. We’re certainly not going to take them lightly.
“The players have been talking a lot about Saturday’s game. We’ve done really well so far and so have they so we’re not going to underestimate them.
“But, if we play to our potential we feel very confident is all I can say. When we’re on it, we’re a match for any team.”
Having not been in action at the weekend, the Willows’ pre-curser to tomorrow’s monumental cup clash saw them defeated 2-0 away at Mulbarton Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.
Joint bosses Hubbard and Chay Budd named five changes to their matchday squad in midweek from their win at Lakenheath, which included the omissions of ‘flair players’ Scott Chaplin and Ethan Garcia.
A debut was given to new striker Jese Tega Okpolokpo, whose move to the Willows was announced on the day of the game, as two first half goals from the hosts ultimately decided the contest.
But Hubbard insisted there were positives to take.
“We said at the end of the game, although we lost, the second half performance was really positive and if we show that effort and ability in tomorrow’s game then we’ve got a good chance,” he said.
“We had a really good go and we were probably the better side.
“On another day we probably would have got something out of the game.
“Mulbarton are not a bad side and on their day at home they are a hard side to beat. We’re disappointed but that’s football at this level.”
Speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk after their emphatic victory over Lakenheath in the previous round, Chay Budd waxed lyrical over his young and expressive side that fearlessly attacked throughout the contest, and Hubbard echoed these views agreeing that they have the hunger to make history for the village club.