Thanks to last year’s promotion to the Championship, Swansea City begin their FA Cup run in the New Year as we travel to Blue Square Premier side Histon in the 3rd Round.
Martinez, his squad and the fans will all be hoping to avoid more embarrassment in this competition, after Havant and Waterbogville dumped us out of the cup last season with a ridiculous 4-2 win. The Swans also stuttured and struggled up until that game with a narrow 2-1 win at Billericay before beating Horsham 6-2 in a replay at the Liberty Stadium.
On route to the third round, Histon have beaten two Football League sides, keeping clean sheets against both as they beat Leeds and Swindon 1-0 respectively.
While the League is always more important to most teams along with the fans, there still should be that desire to beat non-league sides in this competition – to avoid the embarrassment of another shocking cup upset and the news of it being spread across the nation’s TV and newspapers.
The Swans fans don’t see too fussed on an FA Cup this year, in a recent site poll 69% said they weren’t bothered about the competition, while the other, somewhat more optimistic 31% said they’d love an good run in the FA Cup, and think it won’t affect our League progress – somehow I beg to differ.
Another reason to beat Histon in particular on Saturday is their players’ reactions as they watched the FA Cup draw being made. Disappointment was shared between the squad as they hoped for a big Premiership club, instead they got us, oh well I hope we beat them 6-0.
Histon Town manager Steve Fallon:
‘Most people expect us to lose so the pressure is on Swansea. I reckon we have a good chance of winning. We are a good side and they will find that out on Saturday.
‘They won’t be used to the conditions here. It could be a bit of a culture shock to them – we’ll get close to a full house and hopefully we can add Swansea to our list of shocks.
‘Matt’s goal against Leeds is the reason why we’re here. He’s enjoying his celebrity status when he does his rounds at the moment and hopefully he enjoys more of the same after the Swansea game.
‘We’ve got where we are with sheer determination and a great attitude.
‘We haven’t had a sugar daddy to live off, we’ve done the hard work all on our own. We deserve to be where we are because of how committed the players have been.
‘We have a good chance. Obviously some of the lads wanted a Premier League tie but if they’re on top of their game, then you never know – they could get their wish in the next round. But first and foremost, we have to give a good account of ourselves against a very difficult Swansea side.’
Histon Team News:
Oh well if this one was on TV, (it never really was going to be shown on Sky now was it?) I’m sure the commentators would tell us everything about their squad, how each player has 2 jobs working as a postman and a plumber and what have you.
I could go into long detail about Histon’s team news, who’s out and who’s in, but I doubt many Swansea fans will care really?
Player to watch: Jack Midson
Is Histon’s top scorer with 13 goals in all competitions.
Swansea Team News:
I’m sure Roberto Martinez will make quite a few changes for this one. He has a habit of doing it and tomorrow should be no different, hopefully the fringe players will be keen to impress and win us our first game in over 6 weeks.
Owain Tudur-Jones, Andrea Orlandi, Guillem Bauza, Tom Butler and Febian Brandy will all be hoping to start, Kristian O’Leary could even be in with a shout.
Player to watch: Guillem Bauza
If he plays. Has hardly kicked a ball this season but given the chance I think he could do well for us up front. Last season he scored 4 FA Cup goals, including a brace against Billericay to help us win 2-1.
Match Facts & Stats
Histon are currently second in the Conference, not bad considering they’ve played 2 games less than Crawley in third and 3 less than leaders Burton, who are 13 points clear at the top.
Despite their FA Cup achievements recently, their League form has been affected recently, winning just once in the last 5 games. Before that, they won 6 on the bounce, keeping 4 clean sheets.
Swansea meanwhile, have drawn 8 consecutive games in the League, equalling a record. Their last win was away at Norwich in mid November.
We’ve never been brilliant against non-league teams in the FA Cup and I can’t see this trait ending tomorrow. We’ll do well enough to get a replay, Vital Swansea prediction: 1-1.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Burnley v Swansea, 17:20
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Swansea v Reading, 15:00