JAMES White says East Thurrock United are determined to potentially seize a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity as they bid to reach the first round of the FA Cup tomorrow.

Rocks welcome National League powerhouses Ebbsfleet United.

Central midfielder White joined East Thurrock in the summer, and he is now desperate to reach the first round for the second time in his career - having played Mansfield Town while at Concord Rangers in 2014.

“It is going to be an interesting game,” said White, 29. “We know Ebbsfleet are a talented side but we are more than a match for most teams.

“We would ideally have preferred an easier draw but, that said, is there an easy draw? You just have to deal with it and do your best.

“East Thurrock have done well in this competition before and we want to get through this test.

“They are in good form and we want to do something at home as we know how difficult a place Ebbsfleet is to go to.

“I have played them before and so have most of the boys. We know what we are up against. They are about mid-table but they don’t lose many matches.

“For me, the FA Cup is right at the top of the agenda,” he added.

“I love the competition, so to get a good run of form is massive. This could be a once in a lifetime chance so we all want the right result.

“But it will be tough.”

White recently recovered from injury to return to the starting XI, and he is loving his time at the club.

White is calling on his team-mates to continue making memories, starting tomorrow.

“I feel good at the moment,” he said. “I took a knock early on and I was out but I have felt good since I came back.

“Like we had at Concord, it is a small group here and that breeds a good team spirit.

“There were quite a few changes in the last few seasons at Concord but, barring a few additions, things are largely the same at East Thurrock.

“We know each other and want to do well for each other.”


THE PREVIEW: East Thurrock United are looking to make it three FA Cup first round appearances in seven years when they host Ebbsfleet United tomorrow.

Rocks have consistently enjoyed good runs in the competition, but the opposition doesn’t get much more difficult than the Kent side.

Fleet are 14th in the National League following their promotion last year, but no team has lost fewer than their two matches so far.

But John Coventry’s side are a tough nut to crack, with their only defeat this season coming at home to Truro City.

Can they frustrate Ebbsfleet tomorrow?

MEN TO WATCH: Rocks’ Lewis Smith is a tricky customer and can unlock most defences, while Fleet have a host of attacking options - including former Concord Rangers loanee Jack Powell and ex-Southend United winger Myles Weston.

WHEN & WHERE: 3pm, tomorrow at The FutureFuel Stadium, Rookery Hill, Corringham, SS17 9LB.

WHAT THE BOSS SAID: “It is an opportunity for us but that is all it is,” said Coventry. “The hurdle is a big one. The one thing you have to hope for is not everyone on their team is on it and everyone on our team is.

“It is our toughest hurdle at this stage and they present many problems. They have drawn a lot but they are in a very tough league.

“But I am hopeful. The weather is set to be good, they will bring a few and the occasion will attract more people too.

“We are not there to make up the numbers and, with a bit of luck, we can win.”

TEAM NEWS: Ben Marlow is out, Lee Burns is a doubt.