Manager Dom Di Paola admits tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie against Metropolitan Police is “the hardest draw you can get” as the Hornets continue their quest to Wembley.

After suffering defeat against Folkestone Invicta last week – our first competitive loss since March – we now turn attention to the Emirates FA Cup with a trip to Metropolitan Police FC.

Met Police equalled their best ever run in the competition last season, progressing to the First Round Proper where they lost 2-0 at home to Newport County.

The Met also enjoyed a successful league campaign last year, winning their respective play-offs, only to be denied promotion to the National League South after losing to Tonbridge Angels in a one-off ‘Super Play-Off’.

Therefore, Di Paola believes they were the hardest team to draw. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, Dom said: “It’s going to be a tough one. If it was seeded, they’re probably the hardest draw we could have got because they were six minutes away from going to the National League South [last season].

“It’s going to get tougher and tougher further on but there’s nothing you can do about it. We’re all up for it so hopefully we can give a good account.”

He added: “Last year [against Carshalton Athletic] was a very different scenario, as we had a lot of new players, but we’re more of a unit now and have more understanding of each other.”

The Hornets have a poor record against our hosts, who currently sit 15th in the Southern Premier Division South with seven points from six games.

Winless in our previous eight encounters, we haven’t beaten the Old Bill since 2003, but we are boosted by the return of Dylan Merchant, who has spent the last few weeks sidelined with injury.

Joe Shelley, who was absent in last week’s defeat is also expected to return to an otherwise fully fit squad.

The match at Imber Court, KT8 0BT, kicks off at 3pm, and admission is £10 (concessions £5). Supporters unable to make tomorrow’s match can keep updated by following our excellent Facebook and Twitter coverage (@HorshamFC).


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