Uckfield welcomes FA Vase Fourth Round in historic tie

The manager of AFC Uckfield Town Anthony Storey spoke to Gary King about the game:

As the last Sussex side in the competition, AFC Uckfield Town enter the FA Vase Fourth Round this weekend carrying the county’s hopes on their shoulders.

With only one victory in the Vase before this season, the Uckers equalled that record in early September and have not looked back since, winning ties against Hollands & Blair (2-0), Southwick (5-0), Tunbridge Wells (2-0), AFC Croydon (2-1) and Sutton Common Rovers (5-2).

Their opponents this Saturday will be Windsor FC, who after reaching the Quarter-Finals last season will be aiming to emulate a successful Fourth Round trip to Sussex they had in that run, winning against Eastbourne Town.

Formed after the 118-year-old Windsor & Eton had folded in 2011, the Royalists were relocated to the Hellenic League Premier Division last season, and after an 8th-placed debut, this season find themselves 14th.

Although Vase commitments have disrupted their league form, with one win in their last six matches, Mick Woodham’s side have negotiated ties against Southern Combination leaders Chichester City (2-0) and Erith Town (2-1) to reach this stage, after receiving a bye to the Second Round.

Lending experience from the Windsor dugout this weekend will also be a former Premier League striker, in the form of Fulham, Leicester and Millwall veteran Barry Hayles. As a player-coach last season, Hayles scored 14 goals, but at the age of 46 has handed goal scoring responsibilities onto a player 26 years junior, Daniel Roberts, who has 15 goals this season.

Of the Vase’s final 32 teams, Uckfield are record breakers for a number of reasons. In the same field as 2014 winners Sholing and two-time finalists West Auckland Town, the Uckers are the joint-youngest club to have made it this far, and are one of only three sides to have made this stage without ever previously clearing the qualifying rounds.

Pitting themselves against a team of proven knockout pedigree, Uckfield will have to be at their very best to extend their ten home cup victories this season and continue a stunning run in the competition.

Kick off at The Oaks this Saturday is 3PM.

Listen out on the Gary King Breakfast Show and Facebook for a chance to win 4 tickets for the game with hospitality.