Anticipation is building at Farnham Town ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie against Chesham United (3pm).
Town have equalled their best FA Cup run, with hopes fixed on reaching the third qualifying round. Step 3 side Chesham United are top of the Southern League Premier Division South and are set to present a stern test to Farnham’s perfect start to the season.
Farnham defender Ryan Kinnane has impressed since joining this summer from Berkhamsted. Kinnane is the club vice-captain but has been captain so far this season as club captain Guy Hollis has been injured, and he is looking forward to Saturday’s game.
Kinnane said: “We’ve had a good start to the season. The league is the priority but this FA Cup game is exciting for everyone at the club.
“We will be looking to make history. Chesham have seven wins out of seven in their league, but we go into the game full of confidence.”
Farnham manager Paul Johnson is looking forward to facing Chesham in the FA Cup.
Johnson said: “Saturday is a game to look forward to – these are the games you get involved in football for.
“It’s a massive game. We will need to be at our best, but we will have our fans behind us.”
Farnham chairman Paul Tanner is delighted with the progress the club has made in recent years, and feels Saturday’s game is a fitting reward for where the club is.
He said: “We’ve equalled our furthest-ever FA Cup run – and if you look at the club as a whole it’s in a really good place. Since Paul Johnson and Jimmy Hibburt came in the results speak for themselves.
“It’s well known that we’re going for promotion this season but this cup run is fantastic – Saturday will be a great day for the club.
“It’s a great chance for us to have another big crowd and continue to grow the fanbase.
“The way the club has moved forward in recent years is fantastic.”
Farnham club captain Hollis joined from Bracknell Town in the summer and spent a number of years with Slough Town. Hollis injured his medial collateral ligament in the pre-season win against Burnham and has been sidelined since, but has enjoyed watching Farnham’s impressive start to the season from the sidelines.
Hollis said: “Obviously I want to be fit and be out on the pitch, but it’s been great seeing the boys do the business – credit to the lads.
“The club have ambitions to push up through the leagues and that was a big attraction coming here. I’m hoping to be fit enough to be on the bench on Saturday and be involved.
“I’ve personally got some great memories from the FA Cup. When I was at Slough Town we played Rochdale in the second round proper.
“The game was live on BT Sport. We lost 4-0 – but it was a great experience. It brought so much attention and exposure to the club. It went worldwide – I had mates watching the game in America.
“The next year at Slough we played Gillingham in the second round proper and were unlucky to lose 1-0.
“Saturday is a big day for the club and hopefully we attract new fans who come back. As players you get that buzz from playing in front of big crowds.”
Farnham defender Max Meaton has had an eventful journey in the FA Cup this season – he was sent off in the preliminary round tie against Crowborough Athletic after nine minutes. Meaton is in his tenth season at the club and is amazed at the progress made.
He said: “I’ve seen so much progress over my time at the club – when I started we had really small crowds but now we get about 400.
“The lads bailed me out against Crowborough after I was sent off for an awful tackle – but that shows the mentality we have as a group. We’ve got a core group of lads who were here last season – and all the new lads have settled in great.
“Some of the guys have played higher levels but everyone’s attitude is great and they all buy into what the club is about. This tie shows the romance of the FA Cup.”