Hawkes believes Heybridge Swifts have a great chance to progress in the FA Cup (From Maldon and Burnham Standard)
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Hawkes believes Heybridge Swifts have a great chance to progress in the FA Cup
4:34pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
BUOYANT Heybridge Swifts boss Mark Hawkes believes his side have a “great opportunity” to continue their FA Cup adventure.
But he feels it is “diabolical” that their next opponents, Harlow Town, are allowed to play home games on a 3G pitch.
The Hawks started using their controversial surface at the start of this season and Heybridge will pay a visit for their second qualifying round tie on Saturday, September 28.
Swifts boss Hawkes is confident his side have every chance against fellow Ryman One North opposition.
But he disagrees with the rules allowing them to play on a surface other than grass.
“Both clubs will feel they’ve got a great opportunity to progress, having avoided a Conference South team,” said Hawkes, whose side secured their ticket into Monday’s draw after beating neighbours Maldon & Tiptree 2-0 on Saturday.
“Both teams know plenty about each other and we only played them last Tuesday, winning 2-1 at Scraley Road.
“But I can’t say I agree with them being allowed to play on a 3G pitch.
“It’s diabolical and, when they get used to it, it’ll give them a huge advantage.
“For visiting teams like us it makes it more of a lottery and means it will be a different type of game.
“The bounce of the ball will be difficult to adjust to, it will fly around at a hundred miles an hour and be especially hard for our goalkeeper.
“If Harlow got into the first-round proper, they wouldn’t be allowed to play on that pitch so why should the rules be any different at this stage of the competition?”
Swifts have already booked out a 3G pitch to train on next week, to aid their preparations for the trip to Barrows Farm.
Unbeaten Swifts now have two away matches before their FA Cup outing.
They go to Chatham on Saturday and Barkingside on Monday night.
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