AFC Ludlow manager Dave Cooper 'not intimidated' by Morda United ahead of Mercian League Cup clash (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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AFC Ludlow manager Dave Cooper 'not intimidated' by Morda United ahead of Mercian League Cup clash
5:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
AFC Ludlow 0 Wellington Amateur Res 1
AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper says his players won’t need motivating for Saturday’s cup clash against arch-rivals Morda United, writes Chris Plant.
The 38-year-old admits there has been ‘bad blood’ between the clubs and Ludlow hope to put the record straight at the SBS Stadium.
Morda recorded a 3-0 win over Ludlow in the Shropshire County League Premier Division Cup final last season.
And Cooper says this weekend’s Mercian League Premier Division Cup quarter-final showdown is one to look forward to.
“My players won’t need any motivating - as soon as I mention Morda they are up for the game straight away,” said Cooper.
“Morda are a decent outfit but we don’t fear them and we don’t find them intimidating. Before the game, I am planning to leave our changing-room door open to let the Morda players know that we are not intimidated.
“We’re a better team this season - our new players have hit the ground running and there’s a tough spirit about us.
“We have demons to exorcise from last year and we want revenge.”
The last-eight tie is likely to be played on the grass pitch at Ludlow. It kicks off at 3pm.
AFC’s Ludlow’s title aspirations were dealt a blow last weekend as they crashed 1-0 at home to Wellington Amateur Reserves. “We were in the dressing room for 20 minutes after the game to iron out what went wrong,” said manager Cooper.
“I think the players thought the match was going to be easy and had the wrong attitude.
“We hit the outside of a post and missed three one-on-one chances and we should have won the game.
“But we wouldn’t have scored if we had been playing for a further five days.”
Morda have now taken over at the top of the table. “A win on Saturday will certainly help us gain momentum but the league is too tight to call,” said Cooper.
Mercian League spokesman Phil Davies says experienced match officials will be in charge for Saturday’s tie.
Morda boss Craig Rogers said he was pleased with his side’s four wins over Ludlow last season.
He said: “We seem to cross swords quite a lot and we beat them four times last year.
“Both teams will be applying to go into the West Midlands League next season.
“I have a lot of time for Ludlow and Dale Hodge and I have also got a lot of respect for Ludlow as a club.”
Rogers says his Morda side have a strong attacking line-up.
“Dan Graham is our top scorer and Gary Meredith seems to like scoring against Ludlow,” he said.
“We have Mark Griffiths and added Gareth Lewis, who played in the Welsh Premier League with Cefn Druids.”