STANWAY Rovers joint-assistant boss Craig Hughes believes an FA Vase run can generate confidence, momentum and exposure - as he discovered first-hand in 2015.

The midfield general, who works alongside manager Danny Slatter and fellow number two Adam Munn, was part of the Rovers squad that battled through to the fifth-round proper in February 2015.

They eventually missed out on a place in the quarter-finals after an agonising 2-0 defeat at Cornish side St Austell.

However, Hughes remembers it well and would love to be part of a similar run this season.

“The Vase has always been a great opportunity for clubs at this level,” he said, speaking ahead of this weekend’s second qualifying round tie against Wodson Park at The Hawthorns (kick-off 3pm).

“It gives you a chance to pit yourself against the best in the country at this level.

“Danny and myself have got history in the competition, from when we were here before, and now we’ve got a really good opportunity to have another run this year.

“We’ll be strong and positive this weekend, confident of getting the right result, because we all know what a good cup run can do for the club and community.

“We had a great run four years ago when we went down to St Austell.

“And prior to that we played Saffron Walden and there were 500 people here at The Hawthorns.

“The atmosphere and togetherness it created was very special and we finished third in the league on the back of that cup run.

“It creates momentum and that’s what we’re hoping to build again this year.

“It’s great exposure for the club.”

Tom Holdstock and substitute Jordan Blackwell scored the goals in Stanway’s first qualifying round victory, at Hoddesdon.

“We played really well in that game, winning 2-1,” said Hughes.

“It might have looked like we scraped through, given the late winner, but the scoreline didn’t do our performance justice.

“It could have been five or six on the day.”

Rovers head into this weekend’s clash on the back of a strong start to the new Thurlow Nunn League campaign.

They have won four of their six matches so far, handily placed in fourth spot in the early table.

There was one disappointment on Tuesday night, when they were due to entertain neighbours FC Clacton in the Essex Senior Cup.

However, the tie had to be abandoned due to a floodlight failure.

“It was really frustrating,” said Hughes, who rejoined Stanway in the summer from Brantham Athletic.

“Everyone was looking forward to a big derby under the lights and there’s a lot of crossover, in terms of players having played for the other team.

“You always want to win cup games, especially ones against your local rivals, and it was bitterly disappointing that we had to abandon it on Saturday.

“These things happen, though, and can’t be helped."