MANAGER Paul Smith called on his players to build on their FA Vase victory against Sporting Khalsa going into this weekend’s Midland League Premier Division clash against struggling Quorn.
Jason Cowley’s 70th-minute goal and a penalty save from Reece Francis ten minutes from time ensured the Rouslers’ began a potential road to Wembley with the perfect start after a 1-0 victory at Willenhall side Khalsa.
Smith, who changed to a 4-5-1 formation for the tie at the Aspray Arena, praised another defensive masterclass in response to the crushing 3-1 defeat at Highgate United the week before.
But with a quick return to league action tomorrow (Saturday), third-placed Sporting will be looking to maintain their promotion charge against visitors Quorn at the Victoria Ground.
Sam Wills and Guy Clark are expected to feature while Robbie Bunn (leg) could be in line for a start if he makes it through training.
And after tightening up at the back, Smith told the Standard it is important his players continue to stand up for themselves and avoid making individual blunders.
“Those kind of mistakes have cost us dearly in recent weeks,” he said.
“We were giving goals away from not marking and we have been working on improving concentration in training.
“I drilled this into the lads, they took it on board and the performance on Saturday was where it needed to be.
“What is important now is we put the Vase game behind us and build on from there as we have some big games coming up and we need to get the points.”
Sporting’s reward for overcoming Khalsa is a home tie against fellow Premier Division side Coventry United on December 2, meaning the scheduled league fixture against leaders Coleshill Town has to be re-arranged.
And after the Vase run captured the imagination of the town last year, Smith is hoping for more bumper crowds to pack the Victoria Ground.
“If someone told me we would have Khalsa away and then Coventry United in the first two Vase games I would have thought ‘someone is not doing us any favours’,” joked Smith.
“Coventry will fancy their chances after we beat them 1-0 at their place earlier in the season so it is set up to be a tremendous cup game.
“It’s a massive game for the club against our old rivals so fingers crossed we get a good crowd in.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Brendon Bunn has moved on to Littleton in a bid to gain further first-team football.