Henley Athletic out to cause shock against Crane Sports in Bob Coleman Cup
Henley Athletic joint-manager Sean Brown hopes tomorrow's Bob Coleman Cup quarter-final clash with Senior Division high-fliers, Crane Sports, can become a regular occurrence.
Henley are currently second in Division One, three points behind leaders Ransomes Sports, and in a good position to go up – five points clear of third place – with two teams scheduled to be promoted.
Tomorrow they turn their attentions to the cup and will be hoping to repeat their feat of last season, when they beat the eventual Senior Division champions on penalties, in the third round of the competition.
“We want to be playing in the Senior Division and we are in the right track and are confident of getting there provided we carry on doing everything right,” said Brown.
“We want to be playing the likes of Cranes, week-in, week-out.
“Perversely we enjoy the pressure of playing in the league week-in, week-out, whereas on Saturday there will be no pressure on us playing against a very good side. It’s a win-win situation for us.
“If we play to the best of our ability we will give them a game. I am friends with the Cranes’ management team and I know they will be giving us respect, not that they under-estimated us last year, but I know they are not looking forward to playing us.”
Henley will be without top-scorer Clark Bruce for tomorrow’s game and have a couple of other injury concerns, but Brown is confident Athletic have the strength in depth to cope.
“We have got a strong competitive squad and are confident we have the players who can come in and step up,” added Brown, who was appointed along with Chris Rogers in September 2014.
“Henley missed out on promotion in 2014. We came in and last season was a learning curve for us.
“We went out and strengthened the squad, which was already decent, and we hope that will enable us to get to the Senior Division.”
Asked if Henley would be able to compete in the elite league, Brown said: “I think so, but there is an awful long way to go and I don’t want to sound arrogant and suggest we are already there. There are a lot of games left to play.”
In tomorrow’s other quarter-final games, Senior Division leaders East Bergholt host fourth-top Achilles, while Haughley United host Leiston St Margarets in another all-Senior Division encounter.
In the Senior Division tomorrow, Bramford host Capel Plough, Framlingham Town travel to Felixstowe Harpers, Ipswich Athletic entertain Wickham Market, Stanton go to Wenhaston and Ipswich Valley Rangers visit Westerfield.
In Division third-placed Mendlesham host leaders Ransomes. A draw would probably be the best scenario for Henley.