Manager James Jepson says his squad are excited to get started in the Buildbase FA Vase and take a break from the league tomorrow.
AFC take on fellow step six side Hereford Lads Club, from the West Midlands Regional League, in the second round of the competition at the Welfare Ground tomorrow.
It’s Hinckley’s first game in the competition this season, after another impressive run last time out, before defeat to eventual semi-finalists Marske United, saw them earn exemption to this stage.
And Jepson says his side want to add to the club’s impressive history in the competition.
He said: “Based on where we are in the league, we’re not in the shout for promotion. So it gives us a break from the league and we’ve got players in there who are looking forward to it.
“We’ve had them watched, I’m sure they’ve had us watched too. We know what to expect from them, but we’ve got to focus on ourselves, and our own game.
“It’s a good tournament, one where we as a club want to go as far as we can financially. And the young lads will never have been involved in a competition like this so it’s a great opportunity for them.”
Hinckley come into the game after a frustrating draw with Brocton on Tuesday, in which a last minute equaliser denied AFC a valuable three points.
But Jepson said the first half was the best his side have played all season, and that it sets the standard for the weeks to come – starting against Hereford.
“We passed the ball well, and considering we’ve had a lot of people go out the door we played really fluidly. We should have won.
“We needed to take more of our chances, and that’s what we said to the boys afterwards. We won’t point fingers too much because the good thing is that the chances are coming, but we need to become more clinical.
“But the other frustration comes with the equalising goal. I’ve never seen anything like it. Their lad is all over Chris, then scoops it on with his hand, then it hits their player who’s standing a yard from the goalline – so there was a foul, a handball and an offside in the lead up to that goal.
“But at the end of the day that decision by the officials doesn’t affect us if we take our chances.”
Having been promoted from step seven two seasons ago, Hereford finished solidly in mid table, in 12th last term.
They currently sit seventh in the West Midlands Regional League, with seven wins included in their 13 games thus far. The theme with that number continues with the fact they scored seven in their last outing at Shawbury on Saturday.
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