Middlesbrough v Hastings United
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Third Round Proper
3pm, Saturday 5 January 2013
Winning clubs will receive £67,500 from The FA prize fund
Click here for all the Third Round ties
Player-manager Sean Ray says Hastings United are ready for the biggest match in the club’s history.
The Isthmian League Premier Division outfit will travel to Middlesbrough for their first-ever FA Cup Third Round tie.
After reforming in the 1980s, the furthest the Arrows had reached previously was the First Round in 2002, where they lost 1-0 to Stevenage.
But wins this season over Chatham Town, Staines, Hitchin, Blackfield & Langley, Bishop’s Stortford and Harrogate have booked a maiden appearance at this stage of the competition.
Ray said: "This is a big deal for us.
“It's our first appearance in the Third Round so we've had a lot of people wanting to talk to us. It's been nice, but it's also been pretty hectic.
"But the players have been fantastic. I've had no trouble with anyone, they've all stayed pretty grounded. At the end of the day this kind of thing doesn't happen all the time."
Rather than supervising his charges from the dugout, Ray will be in the starting eleven to provide some on-field leadership to a fairly youthful side.
He added: "I'll be playing yes, no doubts about that one. We're a very young side and one thing I do like to think I bring is experience.
"We're sure to need some of that up there. But it's just another game for me, I've played a lot of games this season so it's business as usual there.
"I don't think being the manager will cloud my judgement. But at the end of the day I've got a great group around me.
"I've got an excellent assistant manager, he gives me all the help I need. I've got great coaching staff too that are always watching out for me.
"We've just got a great bunch of guys here, terrific characters and they all make my job a hell of a lot easier.
"It's purely because of them that I've got no worries ahead of the game. I know they'll do me proud and we'll all be in it together."