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Leafe wary in cup


JOHN FOWLER has insisted Whyteleafe will not be taking a win over Horley Town for granted when the two Surrey teams line up against each other in the FA Cup next weekend.

Whyteleafe earned a home tie in the first round qualifying of the famous cup competition by beating Fowler's former team Croydon 2-0 on Saturday.

And the Whyteleafe boss admits he enjoyed his first return to Croydon Arena since quitting for Leafe in July.

"It was a good result but to be fair the game itself wasn't brilliant," Fowler said. "It was pretty even in the first half, they missed a couple of chances to go ahead but once we settled we started to play a bit better."

Roscoe Dsane and Gareth Williams scored the goals for Leafe, after Fowler substituted the former for the latter and the manager admits being able to replace one former Crystal Palace striker for another is a nice situation.

"It's a long season ahead and I want to keep Roscoe and Gareth fit and injury-free, so I'm being careful with them," Fowler said.

"It's good to be able to change things around and still keep a strong side."

The win at Croydon sets up a home tie against another Combined Counties League Premier Division side, Horley, on September 14.

In contrast to Leafe's unbeaten start to the Southern Counties East League, Horley have one win from six in their league, but Fowler is wary of complacency.

"A run in the FA Cup is good for club's financially, so we won't be taking Horley lightly," Fowler said.

"They haven't had the best start in the league but you get that with some teams; funny league form and then a good cup run."

And Horley boss Trevor Smith insists he is happy to be underdogs, saying all the pressure is on Whyteleafe for the clash.

"I'd like to think we can find a way of beating any team at this level. They have had a good start to the season but they have to lose at some point – why not Saturday week?" Smith said. "I haven't been happy with the goals we have been conceding but hopefully we will score more than them.

"We are expected to get smashed, just like we were against South Park, so all the pressure is on Whyteleafe."

To celebrate Non-League Day on Saturday, Whyteleafe are offering season-ticket holders of Premier League and Football League clubs free admission to their Southern Counties East League game against Greenwich Borough (3pm).

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