Boro side will take nothing for granted

Marcus Crawley reports TWO of the form teams in non-league football meet this weekend for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Carlsberg Trophy. Stevenage Boro host Conference South leaders Salisbury City in the quarter-finals on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Marcus Crawley reports

TWO of the form teams in non-league football meet this weekend for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

Stevenage Boro host Conference South leaders Salisbury City in the quarter-finals on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Two wins on the road in recent days have seen Boro move to sixth and within a point of the play-offs, while Salisbury themselves look favourites to be their league champions this campaign.


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Some managers may consider a cup run to be a distraction but Boro boss Mark Stimson is not one.

"The crowd now realise I rate this competition," said Stimson who is bidding for a hat-trick of successes as a manager having also won it as a player.

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"I always put my strongest side out in the competition and winning is always good for confidence.

"We're three games away from the final and there's so much to play for.

"It's another very difficult game as they're used to winning and have scored loads of goals this season."

Paul Hakim and Damian Batt are cup tied having already played for previous club St Albans City in the competition.

But Stimson's 19 other first team squad members are available as Adam Miller returns from suspension.

"We have a clean bill of health again and the fitter you are, the less injuries you get. You'll always get impact injuries but others can be avoided."

The tie will also see a showdown between two of the most feared strikers in their respective divisions, Steve Morison and Salisbury's Matt Tubbs.

A replay will be at Salisbury on Tuesday night if required.

Morison scored twice as Boro won 3-1 at Stafford Rangers on Saturday to follow on from a 2-0 win at Stimson's former club Grays Athletic at the weekend where Morison also netted.

Stimson added: "It's a fantastic achievement and I would have been happy with three points but to get six is great.

"Both teams are down there at the bottom and fighting for their lives.

"The boys stuck to their beliefs and tried to pass the ball, even though both pitches were difficult.

"We're in the middle of a tough period of away league games and there are another two away games to come after Saturday."

Both Grays and Stafford had men red carded, with flying winger Mitchell Cole the Boro man regularly sinned against.

"The only way to stop Mitchell is to kick him and that's why both players were sent off."

Boro's season is really taking off, especially since the injection of fresh talent in the January transfer window.

Stimson continued: "We've added quality to our already strong nucleus of players. Who ever has come into our midfield in recent games has done a good job.

"It is really obvious that some of the players have been in the Championship or League One this season."

* Boro's reserves were at home to their Luton counterparts last night (Wednesday).

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