The Non-League Football Paper - - FA CUP FIRST ROUND PREVIEW -

NANTWICH Town’s Steve Jones is hop­ing for a late birth­day present when they make the trip to Steve­nage next week­end.

The vet­eran striker turned 41 last week and is still go­ing strong with the Evo-Stik North­ern Premier club.

Jones has played a huge part in help­ing the Dab­bers reach the first round for only the sec­ond time in their his­tory.

Now they head to League Two side Steve­nage with Jones hope­ful of pulling of an up­set that he be­lieves would be “one of the big­gest highs” of his ca­reer.

The for­mer North­ern Ire­land star said “Ev­ery tie in this com­pe­ti­tion is mas­sive and this is huge for us as a club.

“I know that shocks can hap­pen and we have to believe it can hap­pen for us next week­end.

“I was at Crewe Alexan­dra, when they were in what is now the Cham­pi­onship, and we were beaten by Telford United, so it can hap­pen.

“It won’t be easy be­cause they are a good side and they are in good form.

“Any sort of pos­i­tive re­sult would be one of the big­gest highs of my ca­reer.”

The Dab­bers cur­rently sit third from bot­tom in the Evo-Stik League ta­ble af­ter a sum­mer of changes at the Weaver Sta­dium.

For­mer man­ager Phil Parkin­son left for Al­trin­cham with a num­ber of key play­ers fol­low­ing suit.

In their place, new man­ager Dave Cooke has brought in a new-look squad and Jones be­lieves that a fresh im­pe­tus can ac­tu­ally work in Nantwich’s favour at Broad­hall Way.

“We have been through big chances, los­ing the man­ager and some big play­ers,” he added.

“We have a young side night and they all have heart.

“There may be nerves ahead of the game, but there will also be a lack of fear.

“We will go there and give it our best shot.

“Who knows what can hap­pen? This is the FA Cup af­ter all.”

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