There is no doubting that this weekend’s FA Cup tie against Boston United is the biggest game in Stratford Town’s history.
Having already rewritten the record books by reaching the fourth qualifying round for the very first time in their 80-year history, the Bards are now seeking to go that one step further and reach the so-called ‘proper’ rounds of England’s most prestigious cup competition.
Similar to Boston United, the Bards have managed to find some respite in the FA Cup.
With a whole of host of familiar faces returning for the 2021-22 campaign, on top of some new additions, the Bards were hopeful of challenging for the Southern Premier Central title.
However, albeit they are barely a quarter of the way into the season, that prospect seems over as Saturday’s 5-2 defeat to leaders Peterborough Sports means the focus has shifted to the play-offs - a view compounded by the midweek 7-1 defeat to Biggleswade - but the performance nevertheless showed mid-table Bards can compete with the best.
Having crashed out of the Southern League Challenge Cup at the hands of lower-ranked Cirencester Town and valiantly went out on penalties to League One outfit Burton Albion in the Birmingham Senior Cup, it’s the FA Cup which has brought the Bards some delight.
Paul Davis’s men have already knocked out Carlton Town, Nuneaton Borough and Long Eaton United en route to the fourth qualifying round and only the Pilgrims stand in the way of the club making more history.
The general consensus from the draw seemed to be it could have been better, but it could have been much worse.
The Bards will certainly play without fear and will be looking to cause a ‘cupset’ this weekend.