FA CUP glory is the one paragraph still missing from Carl Adams’ CV as Stratford Town manager.
For all his success in guiding Town from the Midland Alliance to Southern Premier, making progress season by season, Adams has never enjoyed a notable run in the world’s greatest club knockout competition.
In fact, he has never recorded a single win as Town manager. The past five years have brought instantly forgettable tumbles at the first hurdle and Stratford’s last Cup win came in September 2011 with a 3-2 giant-killing of Stafford Rangers.
But, after an unbeaten start to the season, Adams says a Cup run is long overdue.
Newcastle Town provide the opposition on Saturday at the MoodChimp Stadium in the first qualifying round.
“This cup record has become a monkey on my back,” said Adams. “It’s something I can’t explain.
“We’ve had success in the league and that is always my priority, but you see other teams making headlines in the FA Cup and you would love a run yourself.
“When I was manager at Coleshill we had a run one year and went to play Nuneaton Borough. As a player, I got to he first round proper when I was at Bedford Town, playing for Roger Ashby, and we played Peterborough.
Taste of glory
“I would love to have that taste of cup glory with Stratford. There’s the money you can win and that makes a huge difference in terms of your budget and planning ahead. Then there’s the spotlight that’s turned on to your club when you go through a few rounds.
“We want to go out on Saturday and give it our all.”
Saturday’s winners will collect £3,000 and Town, as the higher league side, will be favourites but Adams will not underestimate the Northern Premier South side who have netted 12 times in three successive wins.
Having knocked out Evesham United 3-2 in a replay last week, Newcastle then walloped Spalding 6-1 and defeated Kidsgrove 3-2.
“They will full of confidence so it’s not going to be easy,” said Adams. “But we’re unbeaten and I’ve been over the moon with how we’ve been playing.
“In all honesty, we should have had two wins rather than two draws after the Bank Holiday games. I’m disappointed we only got two points but we were the better team in both matches.”
On Saturday, Town stunned the Weymouth home supporters when they took the lead when Charlie Evans’ strike hit the post and then the keeper to bounce into the net.
They then withstood the Terras fightback and seemed to have done enough until Jordan Rose bagged the equaliser in the sixth minute of injury time. There was just time to kick off again before the referee blew for full time in a 1-1 draw.
Then on Monday Town were again in the ascendancy for long periods against Redditch at the MoodChimp but they had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate.
Adams’ men had the better chances, with Edwin Ahenkorah heading wide, Jimmy Fry having an effort saved on the line and Evans scooping over from the best of them, but the Reds could have nicked it with two minutes left when Danico Johnson hit the crossbar.
“Weymouth scored in the final seconds and I was gutted,” said Adams.
“We were the better team and we deserved the three points.
“On Monday, we were by far the better team but we just couldn’t score. In fairness to Redditch, they could have nicked it with two or three minutes to go when they hit the bar.
“But we’re still unbeaten, we’re solid and we look a decent side. I’m over the moon with the performances.”
Meanwhile, Stratford have been handed a trip to Solihull Moors in the first round of the Birmingham Senior Cup.