Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Penney Wise to Price of Cup Flop

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Penney Wise to Price of Cup Flop

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Darlington boss Dave Penney will draw on his experience of upsetting the odds to ensure his team's FA Cup campaign is not brought to an embarrassing end this afternoon.

The Quakers will take on Lewes at the Dripping Pan in the competition's first-round proper and, although their non-League opponents stand 51 places below them in the footballing pyramid, the visitors know they are in for a difficult game.

Having led Doncaster to the quarter-finals of last season's Carling Cup, beating Aston Villa and Manchester City and taking Arsenal to penalties, Penney has been given a valuable insight into how Steve King's side will approach the fixture. He will use that knowledge to his advantage.

"If anyone is aware of the threat of an upset, it's me, that's for sure," he said last night. "That is why we have had them watched a couple of times recently. They're decent and it will be their cup tie, their FA Cup final if you like, so it isn't going to be easy. I know how teams make it difficult from my time at Doncaster. But I know a lot about my players and, if they have the right attitude, they can go down there and win this game."

It is three years since David Hodgson's side were humbled by Ryman League side Hornchurch and, as he prepares for the biggest game in his club's 121-year history, Lewes chairman Terry Parris is determined to spring a similar upset.

"Darlington will not look forward to coming here," he said. "It's a small ground and they will feel uncomfortable. I think 90% of the crowd will be Lewes supporters and there will be a lot of pressure on their players. We will probably never have a better chance to get through to the next round."

Julian Joachim and Phil Stamp will both miss out against the Conference South side through injury, while Bradford will not allow on-loan defender Matt Clarke to play. Even so, the Quakers will be the favourites to progress. But having experienced defeat at the hands of Hornchurch in 2003, Neil Wainwright knows it doesn't always work out as expected.

"I have played in defeats against these kinds of sides," said the former Sunderland schemer. …

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