Bentley’s Gulls are ready for cup challenge

Canvey Island v Boreham Wood – Emirates FA Cup Second Round – Park Lane – Monday 7:45pm – Preview

It has been a case of ‘make do and mend’ for Canvey Island boss. Mark Bentley, as he prepares his Pitching In Isthmian League North outfit for their huge Emirates FA Cup second round tie with Boreham Wood on Monday evening.

Out of domestic league action due to the lockdown has hindered the Gulls approach. Nevertheless, the former Southend United and Gillingham midfielder has utilised the three-week hiatus as best he can to give the Park Lane club their best opportunity to spring a surprise against an established Vanarama National League side.

“First and foremost it’s a fantastic achievement from the boys to get to this level of the competition. For the level we play at, it is a great achievement – it’s something the boys can really look forward to on Monday now,” Bentley enthused.

“But in terms of our prep, it has been a long few weeks. Minimal game time – lots of prep for me in terms of watching Boreham Wood and getting scouting reports and stuff. But we are ready now and looking forward to Monday.”

Bentley confirmed he had called in a couple of favours for match practice, while training routines remained as comparable as possible:
“We’ve kept it two nights a week,” he added.

“We’ve managed to have a couple of fixtures – the FA allowed us eventually to have two fixtures – we played Chelmsford last week and Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

“It gave us a good opportunity to understand the levels – certainly the Dagenham & Redbridge game – I think we learned quite a bit from that – how quick they moved the ball, how organised they were.

“We’ve come in now – a couple of sessions to go until the big one on Monday.”

Bentley was far from disappointed that Canvey had missed out on facing an EFL club at this stage of the competition, insisting the challenge provided by a Boreham Wood side – that had put pay to Southend in the previous round – will be every bit as significant.

“It’s a really tough one. I think I’ve said this previously – I think we’ve got the one in the middle,” the 42-year-old explained.

If we were looking to progress, we’d want the next lowest ranked team other than us. You are looking at Marine at home – It would have been a nice one.

“If you’re going to go out – go out big – so you are looking at Hull City away – would have been nice. But we’ve got the one in the middle. We’ve got Boreham Wood which I know about. It’s a very tough game. I think a lot of people are saying third round – third round – but this is a massive tie for us – a very difficult one.

“We are going to be very organised. If we can apply ourselves like we have been over the last few rounds we will give as good as we get.”


Brian Jeeves

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