FA Vase Second Round Draw – Longlevens & Fairford Town managers react to away ties

Longlevens manager Craig Martin and Fairford Town manager Jody Bevan have reacted to the draw for the Second Round of the FA Vase. 

The draw, which was made on Monday lunchtime at Wembley, saw both of the Hellenic League clubs drawn away from home in the next round on Saturday 2nd November.

Longlevens have been drawn away to Falmouth Town of the South West Peninsula League, whilst Fairford must wait 24 hours before knowing their opponents – as Bitton vs Tadley Calleva had their fixture re-arranged to Tuesday night with the winner hosting Bevan’s men.

We spoke to both managers after the draw and asked Bevan on whether it changes anything knowing you have to wait to find out your opponents.

“It doesn’t really change anything for me,” said Bevan. “We know we are going away to a team in a different league so to some degree it is a step into the unknown either way. We’ve got 3 weeks to plan accordingly regardless of our opposition.”

Bevan will be looking to head to Bitton on Tuesday night to watch the First Round tie and told us that his side will be going into the tie knowing if they play as well as they have done this season, then they will be a match for anybody.

“Obviously Bitton is closer but we know they have been strong in the Western League for a long time with a squad packed full of players with Southern League experience and above.

Tadley Calleva beat Royal Wilton Bassett in an earlier round so we will try and get some insight from them too if they end up as our opponents. But whoever it is we know it will be tough and we’ll relish the tie. We are in good form and we’ll have more than a chance against anybody if we play to the levels we are capable of,” Bevan added.

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For Longlevens, they appear in the Second Round draw for the first time and for only the second time this season so far they have been drawn away in a cup competition, something Craig Martin admits he doesn’t mind.

“I did feel we needed an away draw and one that you’d think yeah I’d like to go and this one is a massive one as Falmouth in recent years have had good runs in the FA Cup, so we know this is really going to be a massive test for us. They had a great win at the weekend winning 5-1 and are on a good run of form, so it will be a very tough game.” 

Martin’s men earned their place in Monday’s draw thanks to an extra time 1-0 win against Cowes Sports and he admits that his side have earned to have a big day out to celebrate a great run in both the FA Vase and FA Cup this term.

“I’m proud of the boys for getting us this far and this trip really is going to be a test off the field too, being sat on a coach for best part of four/five hours travelling down is something we haven’t experienced before.

But it’s just another game for the boys to test themselves and find out what the standard is like at this level down South.

Ahead of Tuesday’s game at Abingdon I’ve told them to forget about the Vase tie as we need to take one game at a time and without a game on Saturday we are going to chuck a few ideas around about how we approach the game and what’s everyone’s general feeling about the tie.

Before that though we have a massive local derby with Brimscombe & Thrupp and we need to focus on that before thinking about Falmouth,” Martin added.

Falmouth Town vs Longlevens and Bitton/Tadley Calleva vs Fairford Town are both scheduled for Saturday 2nd November; kick off 15:00