Martin Swales was content with Sunderland RCA’s FA Vase draw – despite being handed a difficult-looking trip to take on Newport Pagnell Town.
RCA produced a brilliant performance on Saturday to beat AFC Mansfield 1-0 and reach the fifth round for the second successive season.
Now Swales has urged them to create club history and progress to the quarter-finals by beating the United Counties League outfit.
It will mean a couple of trips to Milton Keynes for him – to scout their opponents before the January 28 game – but Swales is already looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “It could have been a lot worse. It’s a canny travel down but when you look at some of the other games, like South Shields or Morpeth going to Solent, then it’s not too bad.
“I would obviously have liked to have had a home draw, both for travelling and also to get a good crowd in, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I will go down and have them watched, see what they’re all about. They beat one of the favourites for the Vase, Peterborough Sports, in the last round on Saturday so I know it will be a tough game.
“They look to get about 5-600 people there so it will be a good crowd.
“We took two coaches down to Mansfield so hopefully we can take a couple more to Milton Keynes as well. We’re the last club from Wearside still left in the competition.”
John Butler grabbed the only goal of the game for RCA against AFC Mansfield on Saturday to continue the club’s rich vein of form which has seen them lose just once in their last 12 games.
“Mansfield had no complaints,” added Swales. “We bossed it from the start and had chances to put the game to bed.
“At 1-0, there’s always the danger of a set-piece or something, but we’ve kept a lot of clean sheets recently, since I brought in goalkeeper Josh Carmichael from South Shields.
“I’m a lot happier with our defence than I was at the start of the season. We’re not leaking so many sloppy goals.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to do better than we did last year in the Vase. We lost in the fifth round last season so hopefully we can continue and get through.
“The club hasn’t had a lot of success in the Vase so this is great.”