WINCHESTER City’s director of football Dave Malone will not let sentiment get in the way of FA Cup ambition at his old club Bashley tomorrow.
Having had a spell as Bash chairman back in 2001, Malone was saddened to see the cash-strapped New Forest hovering on the brink of extinction during the summer following relegation from the Southern Premier Division.
Now under the new leadership of chairman Angela Speechley-Price and her co-team boss husband Graham, the Foresters are scraping by on a zero budget. But they have had a torrid start to the Southern One South & West campaign, picking up just one point from six games.
Malone said: “They’re struggling in football terms so, in that respect, it’s a reasonably good draw for us.
“I’ll always have a lot of affection for Bashley. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since I was there, but I’m glad the new people are giving it a go.
“I’m pleased they’re alive and kicking – but I also hope we stuff them!”
Both clubs will be looking to make amends for a disappointing bank holiday in tomorrow’s preliminary round tie, worth £1,925 to the victors.
While Bash lost 3-1 to Wimborne, Winchester suffered an unexpected jolt to their Sydenhams title ambitions, beaten 3-2 at home by newly-promoted Petersfield Town.
Malone described it as “a thoroughly disappointing afternoon where we looked threatening up front - and threatened at the back.” He added: “Hopefully it will teach us some valuable lessons.”
Tomorrow’s winners host the victors of the all-Wessex tie between Bemerton HH and Bournemouth Poppies.