Smis­sen would love Vase run to con­tinue

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Michael Smis­sen is en­joy­ing his FA Vase ad­ven­ture with Ash­ford United and doesn’t want it to end at Han­well.

The for­mer Kent League Golden Boot win­ner hopes to over­come a knee prob­lem and fea­ture in the de­layed fourth round tie against the Spar­tan South Mid­lands League out­fit at Reynolds Field in Green­ford on Satur­day.

The tie was post­poned last weekend be­cause of a wa­ter­logged pitch.

Smis­sen said: “It’s the fur­thest I have ever got in the com­pe­ti­tion and it is ex­cit­ing but it could be all dead and buried by 5pm on Satur­day.

“We can’t get car­ried away. I know it’s a hor­ri­ble cliche but we have to just take it one game at a time.

“We have to go there, play the game our way and what­ever the re­sult, be proud of our­selves, which we have done in ev­ery game this sea­son, apart from Lordswood (a 2-1 home de­feat).

“As long as we do ev­ery­thing we can, we’ll be fine.

“We know what we are ca­pa­ble of, with the play­ers in our dress­ing room, and who­ever we face, they know they are go­ing to be in for a bat­tle.

“I know Han­well are do­ing par­tic­u­larly well but we are, too.”

He added: “Deal have won the Vase in the past, Herne Bay reached the semi-fi­nals a coupl e of years ago and Tun­bridge Wel ls got to the fi­nal last sea­son. It would be an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to get to Wem­b­ley.

“We are the last South­ern Coun­ties East League team left in the com­pe­ti­tion and Ash­ford United is a bril­liant club to be at now bear­ing in mind its his­tory and where it has been in the past.

“You look at the ground, team, man­age­ment, chair­man and the owner and how quickly it has risen again, all the peo­ple in­volved need con­grat­u­lat­ing.”

As­sis­tant man­ager John Ovard watched Han­well win 4-0 at Ox­hey Jets ear­lier this month.

He said: “They look a good side and are fly­ing in their league. We will be the un­der­dogs which means we go there with noth­ing to lose.

“We will be well sup­ported as we al­ways are, and go there try­ing to get a re­sult.”

Han­well are sec­ond in their league, win­ning 20 and draw­ing one of their 22 games this sea­son. The win­ners were handed an away tie against SSM lead­ers Ampthill Town in Mon­day’s draw for the last-16, due to take place on Satur­day Fe­bru­ary 15. United’s busy pro­gramme con­tin­ues with a SCEL trip to Corinthian next Tues­day (kick

off 7.45pm).

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM2993281

Ash­ford 2nds (blue) cel­e­brate one of their four goals against Maid­stone 2nds.

De­tails, page 71

Michael Smis­sen says Ash­ford will be un­der­dogs at Han­well

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