Cup draws have long been a source of elation, satisfaction, anticipation or frustration – some want an ‘easy’ team at home, others want a daytrip to somewhere new. For Fleet and Dover fans, there’s no easy option this weekend and there’s certainly no awayday to fresh surroundings!
It’s not even been three weeks since Dover’s previous visit to the Kuflink Stadium in the league and now they’re heading back up the A2 to attempt to right the wrongs of that afternoon.
Standing in Dover’s way are a Fleet team on a roll of league wins, with Dennis Kutrieb admitting that while he would have liked to maintain that run in the Vanarama National League South, he must refocus his squad for a competition in which he has always been keen to progress.
“We know Dover very, very well,” said the Fleet boss. “We played them a few weeks ago, it was a different game and now it’s a different kind of competition. Everyone wants to get to the First Round Proper so they will throw everything at us and we have to be ready for this. It helps when you have a good win previously but it’s a completely new game and we need to be ready.
“It’s my experience so far that everyone is in a different mood when you talk about an FA Cup game regardless of if it’s a qualifying round or a proper round. Everyone wants to achieve that First Round and that’s a situation where we need to be aware because it’s not a league game and it’s not near the First Round yet, so anything can happen. Of course I’m confident and the boys will be up for it because they don’t give me any situation where I could suggest they are not up for it.
“But Dover will definitely want to make it better than a few weeks ago. Anyone who was here for that game could see there was a very high intensity. Lee Martin for example was running for 90 minutes and he will do the same on Saturday, similar to other players there as well.”
There are few new developments in either side since we last met in the league. Dover have lost the services of loanee goalkeeper Ryan Sandford to Weymouth but he didn’t feature in the earlier game anyway. Fleet may opt to shuffle the squad from Tuesday night’s win over Braintree, with Ben Chapman returning to the lineup then and coming off the bench in that one.
Since their defeat here on Bank Holiday Monday, Dover have lost both their subsequent league encounters, first at Eastbourne and then in midweek when they hosted Dartford. That’s dropped Andy Hessenthaler’s side to 19th in the league, so the old adage about a welcome break for the FA Cup may certainly hold true in Dover’s case and they come to the Fleet again eager to shake off the woes of recent league performances.
Young midfielder George Wilkinson has come into the reckoning in the past few games for Dover, who also have the option of introducing former Fleet striker Reece Grant or promising youngster Noah Carney in place of Alfie Pavey or Chike Kandi.
The winners of this tie stand to earn £3,375 with the losers getting £1,125. Any replay will take place at Crabble on Tuesday evening.
MATCHDAY GUIDANCE ——–>
Our online ticketing sales platform at fleetlive.club has tickets available until 12.00pm on matchday. We would advise pre-purchase for both your and our convenience in gaining admission to the ground.
On-the-day ticket sales for home fans are available from the windows by main reception, accepting card and cash payments. Turnstiles open at 1pm but they will only accept online tickets (printed out or on your device) and tickets bought at the windows on matchday. There is a dedicated gate for season-ticket holders but they may also use their cards through other turnstile gates.
*WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND ADVANCE PURCHASE FOR TICKETS ONLINE.
WITH SEASON-TICKET HOLDERS PAYING FOR ENTRY FOR THE FA CUP, IT WILL BE BUSIER THAN USUAL AT THE TICKET WINDOWS SO YOUR ONLINE TICKETS WILL SAVE YOU FROM ADDITIONAL QUEUING ON THE DAY*
This match is segregated – away supporters with online tickets and those paying on the day should do so via the Swanscombe End turnstiles to the left of the main entrance.
MAIN STAND BAR
For home supporters only to access the Main Stand bar, enter through the turnstiles and walk the length of the gangway in the Main Stand to the door at the Swanscombe (uncovered) End. There is signage pointing you in the direction. Dennis Kutrieb does a pre-match teamsheet run-through and he and other players attend the bar post-match as well for the man of the match presentation.
Please also support our post-match live music set from Josh Hassell after the game… supporters are welcome to join us after the final whistle for this free live entertainment.
Check out our food stalls (to the left of the main turnstiles entrance, there is our Würtsel Haus German sausage experience and straight ahead as you enter the ground is the Manhattan Grill for all your burger, hot dog and more needs!). Pop-up bars are also situated near to the turnstiles and by ‘Geeks Corner’ between the Plough End and old stand. Our new Hofmeister popup can be found in the marquee between the main turnstiles entrance and the Main Stand. Food and refreshments for away supporters will be available at the Swanscombe End.
Car-parking as per usual on matchdays is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3. Please have the correct change if possible to aid our parking staff and again, we would recommend an early arrival. Please note that the areas near to Northfleet Station, namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road, are resident/permit-only parking and non-valid vehicles will be ticketed. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout as you approach the Kuflink Stadium is a designated clearway – though that is not particularly apparent as you approach – so you are advised not to park here because of the risk of being ticketed.
If you wish to purchase your programme in advance for collection from our club shop before you enter the ground, you can do so either via our online shop or when booking your matchday tickets online.
Programmes are also on sale at the ground from the club shop, the popup bar as you enter the turnstiles, the Main Stand tea kiosk or in the Social Club behind the Plough End, costing £3.
Advance-order programmes will be available to pick up from the club shop before the game and before you enter the turnstiles.