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Bishop's Stortford ready for Emirates FA Cup, second qualifying round tie against Isthmian League rivals Bowers & Pitsea




Steve Smith will have his Bishop's Stortford side ready for a physical battle when they entertain Bowers & Pitsea in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The manager felt his team deserved more than a point when they were held to a 2-2 draw by their opponents in the Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division on August bank holiday Monday.

And victory this weekend would keep alive the Blues' dreams of reaching the first round proper for a second year in a row.

Jonny Giles in action for the Blues when they took on Bowers & Pitsea in the league on August bank holiday Monday. Picture: Melissa Page
Jonny Giles in action for the Blues when they took on Bowers & Pitsea in the league on August bank holiday Monday. Picture: Melissa Page

"It's an FA Cup game and anyone can win, but hopefully I'll have a full-strength side out," said Smith. "If we play how I know we can then we should be okay.

"They're a big, strong, organised side who play to their strengths, but a win takes you a step closer to the first round and we'll be doing everything we possibly can to go through."

The Blues, who triumphed 4-1 at Brightlingsea Regent in the league on Tuesday night, beat Hornchurch 1-0 at home at the weekend to claim their first three points of the season and move out of the bottom three.

Smith hopes to have Mark Haines (knee) available for the cup tie after he went off in the seventh minute against the Urchins while Ben Marlow is back in training.

The boss has also bolstered his squad by re-signing the versatile Johnville Renee on dual registration from Braintree Town. He made more than 60 appearances for the Blues between 2018 and 2020.



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