MANAGER Les Jones is targeting a good cup run as Malvern Town begin their FA Vase journey against Smethwick this weekend.
After crashing out of the FA Cup extra preliminary round in a 7-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Casuals at the start of the season, the Hillsiders boss is hoping to avoid further cup disappointment.
Jones went to watch fellow West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division side Smethwick on Saturday in a 2-1 defeat to Bilston Town Community.
The Malvern boss is expecting their Black Country opponents to enjoy the wider pitch at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium.
“Smethwick are a very good side with a lot of attacking talent,” he said.
“Smethwick have a smaller pitch than ours but they will be looking forward to coming to us to play their style and a bigger pitch.
“They may be mid-table but it is going to be a very tough game for us.
“We progressed through a few rounds of the Vase last season and it would be nice to do the same again.”
Jones will be without summer signing from Littleton, Kyonn Evans, as the striker has joined Midland League Premier Division side Worcester City, linking up with former Hillsiders players Dave Reynolds and Nathan Hayward.
“Without being disrespectful to other sides but Malvern is the club to be at if you want to progress up the non-League pyramid,” said Jones.
“We have had three players go to Worcester City, Reece King moved to Gloucester City, Louis Loader moved to Cirencester Town and Lewis Platt went to Westfields.
“Malvern is the place to be to expose yourself.
“We are delighted for Kyonn but also disappointed as he was a very talented lad.”
Jones confirmed he would be on the hunt for a new striker but stressed there was no rush as Matthew Turner, Bryan Craven and Josh Weatherby were providing the goals.
Meanwhile, Malvern booked their place in the second round of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Bromsgrove Sporting Reserves last Wednesday at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium.
Evans had given the Hillsiders a 1-0 half time lead before Nathan Binner levelled five minutes after the restart.
After Sporting had a penalty saved and one fly over the bar in the shoot-out, it was left for Jake Churchill to bag the winner for the hosts.
Jones’ side will now meet either Wednesfield or Fairfield Villa who play their tie next Wednesday.