Scarborough Athletic v Oxford City: Jono Greening on what FA Cup history could do for his club now

Scaborough Athletic are 90 minutes from being in the FA Cup first-round draw for the first time in the phoenix club's 16-year history, but a victory over Oxford City would be important in the here and now.

On the back of missing last season's Conference North play-offs, Boro have had a tough start to the new campaign, their first home league defeat against Farsley Celtic last week dropping them to 18th.

To beat Conference side Oxford and bank some FA Cup prize money would be huge for the fan-run club.

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"It will definitely give the players a bit more belief, you could feel the dejection in the Flamingo Land (Stadium) when we lost to Farsley," said manager Jonathan Greening, under the weather since Tuesday's morale-boosting penalty shoot-out victory at Middlesbrough Under-23s in the North Riding Senior Cup.

PRIZE: Scarborough Athletic will be playing for their first appearance in the FA Cup first-round properPRIZE: Scarborough Athletic will be playing for their first appearance in the FA Cup first-round proper
PRIZE: Scarborough Athletic will be playing for their first appearance in the FA Cup first-round proper

"To be in the first round would be massive for the club, the town, the fans and me and the players. Hopefully there will be a bit of extra cash for signings as well.

"I'm on the lookout for new players but there's not many we can afford."

The former Middlesbrough and Manchester United midfielder admits last season could have had a knock-on effect.

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"We probably over-achieved so this one was always going to be more difficult," he reflected.

"The way the last game of last season ended was hard to take. For about two minutes we were in the play-offs before Gloucester City won and we missed out on goal difference.

"After the game everyone was so devastated because I think we deserved to be in the play-offs.

"South Shields have come up with a lot of money and the league's got stronger with a lot of players dropping down from the level above.

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"There's been some really pleasing performances away from home – Rushall and Southport have been the only disappointing ones – but we just haven't been able to get the points we've deserved.

"We've tried changing shape, we've tried different personnel and there's nothing wrong with the work ethic but a lot of simple mistakes have cost us and we haven't drawn enough games.

"Last season most of the time at least three quarters of the team played well, this time it's been more like half and they haven't been able to carry the rest through."

Greening has already seen a response to last week’s defeat.

"Farsley are quite direct and we didn't really get the ball down and play until we were 1-0 down," he said. "We weren't brave enough.

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"When we equalised I thought we were the only team who were going to win it but instead of being 12th, we dropped down to 18th, which isn't great when you don't have a league game for a while.

"But we had a great reaction against Middlesbrough. We got some good minutes into players who needed them and although we didn't win against a good side, I was happy to progress to the next round on penalties."