FOOTBALL: LIAM McDonald knows his Solihull Moors side are in for a difficult afternoon when they host FA Cup giant killers Sutton United in the National League this Saturday.
Sutton have won plaudits across the country after progressing through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and there reward has been a home clash against Arsenal.
McDonald said: “They may be just below us in the league but you do not get to the fifth round of the Emirates FA cup unless you are a little bit special.
“There is a strong cup tradition with Sutton United that has seen them already win against Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United before setting up their home game against Arsenal on Saturday week.
“So we fully appreciate what a good team they are and although they may be slightly distracted when they visit the ATG Stadium this weekend, I know how much three points in the league will mean to both them and ourselves. It is a real six pointer.
“Like Moors they were promoted to the National League at the end of last season having won the National South with 90 points against ourselves who won the National North with 85 points.
“It was, therefore quite extraordinary that our first games in the National League would be against each other with Moors running out 3 – 1 winners at Gander Green lane back in August last year with goals from Ryan Beswick, Omari Sterling-James and Andy Brown.
Moors have enjoyed an extra week to prepare for Saturday’s fixtures, but McDonald welcomed the extra time to prepare.
He added: “Last week’s postponement of our trip to Woking was something of a blessing in disguise as four of the teams below us in the table all lost and the remainder were in Cup action.
“So it cemented our league position and gave us a game in hand over several other clubs. Sutton were held to a goalless draw at home to Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy on Saturday and then in between our game and the “Gunners” they travel to Guiseley for a league game. So success in the two cups does come at the price of a chaotic fixture list.”