Why the FA Trophy is the bigger competition for Blackpool's FA Cup second round opponents Maidstone United

The boss of non-league side Maidstone United, who take on Blackpool next week, has claimed the FA Trophy is a more important competition for them than the FA Cup.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 11:45 am
Maidstone boss John Still

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It comes after the National League South outfit drew 2-2 with Dartford in the FA Trophy on Saturday, sending the game to a replay on Tuesday.

After concluding that tie, Maidstone will then make the long journey up to Bloomfield Road on Sunday to take on the Seasiders in their FA Cup second round clash.

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Still was disappointed with his side's lacklustre display against Dartford, going on to say they were fortunate to avoid defeat.

Asked if the players had one eye on Blackpool, Still told Kent Online: “Yes, I do think that but as we said before the game, if we feel people aren’t actually putting it in, we’re not going to play you next week.

“People have to understand that at this level we’re never, ever in a million years going to win the FA Cup but you could win the FA Trophy, which is an unbelievable day out, and I think people should die to do that.

“There’s no bigger game next week because we haven’t picked a team for it. The bigger game was today.

“It was lacklustre, there was no real energy, no real up and at ‘em, the game was slower, we didn’t speed it up.

“All the things we normally do and the way we normally play wasn’t evident - it was really disappointing.

“If you get beat, get beat, there’s nothing wrong in being beat, but don’t get beat when you think we could have done a lot more.

“We’ve had a result because I think we deserved to get beat.”

Maidstone could perhaps have done without a replay in the FA Trophy, but Still says he has no intention of fielding a weakened side on Tuesday night.

He added: “I don’t think there’s any fear of us not being strong, strong. I’d sooner be strong, strong there and not strong at Blackpool to be honest.

“That’s more important to us, that’s a chance for this club to go to Wembley. Who’s going to pass that by?"

The game between Blackpool and Maidstone will take place on Sunday, December 1.

The fixture, which will be one of several ties to feature on BBC's Final Score 'live goals' programme, will kick off at the earlier time of 2pm.

The Seasiders will pocket an extra £12,500 fee for appearing on the show, which will be added to their £54,000 in prize money should they win.