HUCKNALL Town will make their first entry into this season’s FA Cup on Saturday (August 25) when Northern Counties East League Premier Division champions Retford United come to Watnall Road.
United were led to the title by current Hucknall boss Brett Marshall last season, and a number of Town’s squad were also part of the championship-winning side.
But Marshall insists sentimentality will not be a factor when the two clubs meet, with the Yellows boss more interested in notching a first win of the season following a 1-1 draw at Newcastle Town on Saturday and a 3-1 loss at home to King’s Lynn on Tuesday.
Hucknall are also looking to improve on a record that has never seen them make Third Round proper of the timeless competition.
Marshall said: “Obviously some of the players and I achieved great things at Retford and there will be emotions that I hope will be turned into a positive effect on the game.
“But the most important thing is that we get through to the next round, no matter who we are playing.
“It’s a break from the league campaign but nevertheless it’s also a game we have to win.
“That would give us a great morale boost ahead of a trip to Rainworth in the league on Monday.
“There’s also the financial rewards a cup run can of course bring but I don’t want to burden the players with that as a reason to win the game.
“Players shouldn’t be motivated by the money, which is all very nice but not what the FA Cup is about. It’s about trying to make what progress you can and maybe drawing bigger clubs in later rounds.”
Should Saturday’s tie end in a draw then a replay will take place at Retford next Wednesday night.
That in turn will mean the Bank Holiday Monday clash with Rainworth Miners Welfare will be postponed until a later date.
Regarding the Yellows’ opening league games, Marshall was keen to take the positives from the matches despite only taking one point from a possible six.
Corey Nightingale’s late equaliser earned a draw at Newcastle, before Tuesday saw a seven-minute spell yield three goals for King’s Lynn and earn them the three points.
Marshall said: “I actually came away from the defeat on Tuesday feeling more positive than after the draw on Saturday.
“At Newcastle we never really got started and I was very disappointed, even though on paper it was a very good point.
“I guess one positive from it was that we kept going for the whole 90 minutes as I knew we would, and got the equaliser right at the end.
“On Tuesday it was the opposite.
“For 83 minutes of the game we dominated and had total control of the game, but a seven minute spell before half-time then cost us the match.
“We missed five or six good opportunities and then paid for it.
“King’s Lynn equalised, saw our weakness and then exploited it twice more.
“We then threw the kitchen sink at them in the second-half and it said a lot that they were desperate to keep the ball in the corner for much of the time, as they knew that if we scored once we’d probably get more.
“I honestly don’t think anybody could have complained if we’d got a draw from the match.”
Despite the tough start, Marshall says he and his side has already learned a lot about what it will take to succeed in the Evo-Stik Division One South this year.
He said: “I’m pretty certain that if we carry on performing as we have done then we won’t go far wrong.
“You don’t get away with sneaking points here and there long-term but if we play as we did on Tuesday then we should have more success.
“In past seasons my teams have had similar starts before picking up so I’m not overly concerned at this moment in time.
“We’re being competitive and I don’t think we’re far off what I’m looking for.”