Rovers duo Paynter and Syers wary of 
an upset

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AS a lifelong Evertonian, Billy Paynter has sampled Wembley highs watching his beloved Blues and learned to fully appreciate the magic of the FA Cup.

In his day job as a striker, the Scouser has had a few, if not as exactly high-profile, moments to savour in the competition and one or two more would not go amiss.

He insists, however, the last thing he and his Doncaster Rovers team-mates will be doing this afternoon is treating opponents Bradford Park Avenue lightly.

Paynter is now fully over the sickness which forced him off at Notts County last weekend.

He said: “The FA Cup is special. I have been down to Wembley to watch two semi-finals against Chelsea and Manchester United with Everton there and also went to the final (in 1995) when we won when we beat Man United and I was only young and Paul Rideout scored the winner.

“It was a great experience going down in a van with my dad and his friends and I have had some good days, playing-wise, in the Cup as well and played for Leeds against Arsenal a few seasons ago and it is a competition I have done all right in.

“People will be expecting us to win against Park Avenue. But we have got to give them respect as it could turn out to be a banana skin.

“We played them in pre-season, so should know what they are about. I know they drew 3-3 and who knows what will happen on Saturday? It is the FA Cup, isn’t it...”

One man who can appreciate what today’s tie means to the Avenue players is former Bradford City midfield man Dave Syers, who did the rounds in non-League football with the likes of Farsley Celtic and Ossett Albion before being handed his big break by the Bantams.

And after seeing City claim plenty of limelight this week by way of a dream Capital One Cup assignment with Arsenal after knocking out Wigan on penalties, Syers feels Park Avenue will be desperate for their own piece of Cup glory, with Rovers having to be on their mettle to stop them.

He added: “The rivalry within Bradford is there between City and Avenue, although it is more historical.

“But I am sure after what Bradford did in the week against Wigan, they will feel this is their big chance to have a big day although I am sure that they are coming here not thinking it is their final but thinking they can get a result.

“As a non-League player, I never got past the third or fourth qualifying round, so I know what this game means to them. They will be giving absolutely everything.

“It was a nice draw when we saw it, but one we definitely cannot take for granted.

“I know a few of their lads after playing four or five years in non-League before joining Bradford City and have played against Park Avenue several times.

“They have some decent players and we cannot underestimate them as it is a massive game for them, especially coming to the Keepmoat.”

leon.wobschall@ypn.co.uk