Ashanike wants FA Cup and FA Vase success with Hamlets
- Credit: Archant
The Mile End Stadium club will look to secure a first win of the season on Saturday
Tower Hamlets boss AJ Ashanike wants his team to have plenty of success in cup competitions this season – starting on Saturday.
The Mile End Stadium club were due to be at home to Essex Senior League rivals Stanway Rovers in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup, but it will now take place at Rovers’ Hawthorns base.
Last season, Ashanike saw his team reach the preliminary stage following a replay victory over FC Broxbourne Borough, but league foes Takeley thrashed them 4-0 to end their FA Cup journey early.
During this campaign there is even more incentive for clubs to do well with prize funds increased for both winners and losers.
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If Hamlets win on Saturday they could pocket £2,250 compared to the £1,500 they received during the 2017/18 season for getting past Broxbourne Borough.
Ashanike said: “Last year we didn’t think we did that well in the FA Cup. We were held to a draw, then won the replay and then got knocked out, so we want to do better this time around.”
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Hamlets will hope Saturday is the beginning of a memorable journey in the competition, but if they lose, they will still receive a much-needed £750.
The east Londoners had a busy spell heading into this weekend’s FA Cup tie with two fixtures in the Essex Senior League.
Last Saturday they suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at Clapton in the season opener at the Old Spotted Dog in front of 74 spectators.
Ashanike was proud of the way his team played despite going down to a stoppage time winner from Tons ace Jeffrey Cobblah.
Hamlets were looking to bounce back on Wednesday night away to Leyton Athletic, but had to settle for a goalless draw.
Although the FA Cup clash is coming up, the Mile End boss is not only keen to do well in this competition, but also the FA Vase too.
During the 2017/18 campaign, Hamlets made it to the second round proper, but lost 2-1 at home to divisional rivals Enfield.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Ashanike, he added: “In the FA Vase we had a good run and that is a priority and we need to at least be reaching the last-16.
“Last season we should have got to the last-16, we played Enfield in the second round and we had four people sent off and then the week after we went over there and beat them 4-0 in the league.
“So, the FA Vase we will take very, very seriously this season and my aim is to reach the last-16 or maybe even the quarters.”