WORCESTER City take the next step on the road to Wembley when they welcome Sherwood Colliery to the Victoria Ground in the first round of the FA Vase.
The Blue and Whites tackle the Central Midlands Football League South minnows on Saturday (3pm) on the back of a disappointing 1-1 Midland League Premier Division draw with South Normanton Athletic at the weekend.
Saturday’s opponents are unbeaten in eight games this season but the Nottinghamshire side were also held 1-1 at the weekend.
City will go into the game without the services of experienced centre half Wayne Thomas whose return to the heart of the Worcester defence was cut short when he was sent off for raising his arm.
The familiar face began the campaign as manager of Evo-Stik Premier outfit Rushall Olympic, but departed the Black Country club earlier this month.
“Despite the red card, it’s great to be back here. Snapper (John Snape) gave me a call to see if I fancied getting my boots back on and I jumped at the chance,” said Thomas.
Despite Thomas’ red card, City dominated the clash with South Normanton Athletic and could have gone ahead in the opening three minutes but Lee Hughes shot wide after good work from Alex Tomkinson.
Hughes had a penalty appeal turned down before Josh Sarmento linked up with Hughes on the right and his cross was perfect for Tomkinson who made no mistake at the far post to hand City a deserved lead.
Further chances were spurned in a dominant first half which was soured by the dismissal of Thomas.
City’s wastefulness proved costly as South Normanton began to gain in confidence against the ten men.
A frustrating afternoon was confirmed when Luke Crosby’s work on the left saw him pick out Sam Kellogg to tap home to ensure the visitors left with a share of the spoils.
City joint boss Snape bemoaned the two points dropped in a game City once again could have put to bed before half time.
“Even with ten men I felt that we dominated the game, so we were gutted not to come out of it with the win.”
“The goal that we conceded was a poor one as we gave their lad too much time in the box. It was a sucker-punch but we showed our resolve as we chased a winner but in the end our final ball let us down.
“We’ve had Sherwood Colliery watched a few times and we’ll be well prepared to face them.”