FA Cup memories with the Exmouth boss
- Credit: Pinnacle
Applications for next season’s FA Cup and FA Vase are now open to Western League clubs, and Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill has plenty of happy memories from this prestigious competition.
A trip to face Premier League opposition was the highlight but it only happened thanks to Hill holding his nerve from the spot in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
“As a player at Torquay United, I fondly remember reaching the FA Cup third round against Birmingham City, who were in the Premier League at the time,” said Hill.
“We drew 0-0 at home and then lost the replay 2-0, although we had lots of injuries at St Andrews and I played up front with Jo Kuffour in the smallest strike-force imaginable.
“I actually missed a good chance for us to take the lead but Birmingham were a very good side.
“We had beaten Notts County in the second round but, before that, we went to Harrogate for a first round replay after drawing the first game 1-1 at Plainmoor.
“The game was worth a lot in prize money to the club and it went to penalties. I wasn’t in the original five takers and I remember just watching everybody score.
“It got to sudden death and their guy went up and scored. Leroy Rosenior was our manager and he just pointed at me ‘Hilly, you take it’.
“I knew I had to score to keep us in the competition and I just banged it in the top corner. I didn’t mean for it go that high.
“They then missed and our ‘keeper Andy Marriott took the last penalty to take us through.”
For the boys at Exmouth Town, the FA Cup and FA Vase represents a chance to dream and experience a special football journey.
“When you are on a good run as a local club, it is very special,” added Hill. “I remember getting to the later stages of the Vase a few years ago and everybody was buzzing.
“You play new teams, play in front of big crowds and start looking forward to the next round draw. It is great to be involved.”