FC CLACTON striker Jake Clowsley has more reason than most to be excited about Saturday’s FA Cup showdown against St Margaretsbury.

The frontman was suspended for the club’s opening two Thurlow Nunn League fixtures – last weekend’s excellent 2-2 draw against Stowmarket Town and Tuesday’s 4-1 success at Whitton United.

Now attention switches to an extra preliminary round tie against Essex Senior League outfit St Margaretsbury at the Austin Arena (kick-off 3pm).

And Clowsley is champing at the bit, having been a frustrated spectator so far because of a ban carried over from last season.

“I can’t wait to get started,” he told the Gazette.

“It was really disappointing to miss the first two games, especially after having a good pre-season.

“I felt the sending off was a bit harsh but you have to take it on the chin.

“I’ve tried to turn it into a positive – as an extra rest period to re-energise and make sure I’m ready and prepared for Saturday.

“It’s a massive game for the club, in the FA Cup.

“There are lots of positives to take into it and not least the boys’ performance against Stowmarket on Saturday.

“The FA Cup is always special.

“We had a good run a few years ago and we’d love to achieve something similar this time around.

“We’ve definitely got a chance to do that and now we need to capitalise.”

Clowsley says there is a positive “ethos and energy” around the Rush Green club, despite the summer departure of last season’s two top scorers – Karl Andrade and Adam Hampson.

It means there is greater responsibility on his shoulders to step up to the plate and contribute goals.

But he says it’s a challenge he’s ready to embrace.

“There is a pressure and I feel a sense of responsibility, as one of the attacking players,” said Clowsley.

“But it’s healthy. It’s a challenge and I’ve always had confidence in my ability.

“(Manager) Tom (Austin) believes in me and I’ve had good feedback from Salts (head coach Ryan Salter).

“I feel really good. I’ve had a few little niggles here and there but my knee has been fine.

“I’ll be taking it one step at a time and as, I get older, I know what I can and can’t do.

“Once upon a time, I’d be so excited to get back for pre-season that I’d overdo it.

“This year, I’ve been much more careful and it’s helped me massively.

“There’s no reason why we can’t have another good season.

“If you haven’t got that ambition, there’s no point playing football.”

Clowsley believes there is so much to be upbeat about heading into the 2019/20 campaign.

Clacton finished a record-breaking sixth in the premier division last term and he sees no reason why the club cannot build on their success.

“As a squad, we now have more depth,” he said. “There’s great competition throughout, which you need, and there’s a really positive feeling around the whole club.

“I’ve got nothing but good things to say and in terms of the mentality, I haven’t known it this good since my early days at Clacton.

“Everyone is buying into it and the ethos and energy is first-class.

“I’m ecstatic to see how much time and effort is going into my hometown club.”

Kyelan Marvell, Billy Wales, an own goal and then a Harry McDonald penalty saw the Seasiders to victory at Whitton on Tuesday night.

Their next league game is away to Wroxham on August 17.