TIVERTON Town manager John Clarkson is expecting a much-improved Truro City side to visit Ladysmead this Saturday for their first qualifying round of the FA Trophy tie.
The cross Tamar rivals will be battling it out for the £2,700 prize money and despite going into the game a league below Truro City, Tiverton perhaps hold the upper hand having already beaten the Cornish club in a pre-season friendly this term.
The Yellows also go into the match on much better form having won their last three games, while Truro needed a late winner from Liam Eddy on Saturday to end a run of five straight defeats.
However, Clarkson is not under-estimating Truro, who have strengthened their squad in recent weeks.
"They'll be stronger than they were in pre-season," said Clarkson. "They have signed a centre half having taken Jamie Lowry from us and they have got Ben Watson in as a centre forward."
"They'll be motivated as well because it is as much a derby for them as it is for us.
"They'll bring a few fans and I have been down to Truro and the fans really get behind them, which they are starting to do now for us."
There will be a number of former Truro City players lining up for the Yellows on Saturday to add a bit of spice to proceedings.
Dan Smith and Marcus Martin were members of Truro's Southern League title winning side, while Adam Kelly and Matt Wright also featured for the club at Conference South level.
Sam Malsom, who had a move to City vetoed in 2011, is another player who could feature on Saturday having played his way into Clarkson's good books.
The former Plymouth striker had been dropped from the starting XI, after failing to do his defensive duties well enough, but having scored the winner in the club's 4-3 victory over Stratford on Saturday he is back in line to start.
"Sam has been at fault perhaps for the loss against Mangotsfield, but this week he was the hero," said Clarkson.
"He is too good of player to be sat on the bench and I hope he realises that.
"He has got to realise that he needs to do the work backwards and if he does then he will start, it is that simple."
Clarkson admitted the win against Stratford on Saturday – that lifted the club to sixth in the table – was not for the faint-hearted and having led 3-1 at one stage he wasn't best pleased to have to rely on a late winner.
"To be honest at half-time we have given them two goals for nothing and it is 3-2," he said.
"Second half we have had four or five good chances again. I counted three for Max Kowal, one he has gone through on goal and he is just about to put it past the keeper and the ball has took a bobble.
"He has then had two point blank headers, one was saved on the line by a defender and the other he has put past the post.
"They then got back to 3-3, with some poor defending from us – and that is being generous, but then we were being generous all game.
"At that stage, when you see the calamity we have made to give them their third goal and you see the two goals we have given away, your thinking 'I don't believe it'. In fact my honest opinion, you wouldn't want to print it."
Tiverton took the lead in the match through John Herevan, with Smith adding a second.
A poor clearance from Martin then led to Stratford pulling a goal back, before Matt Wright restored the two-goal lead with a close range header.
Further defensive mix-ups saw Stratford get back on level terms though with Joe Halsall netting before half-time and Dan Palmer scoring with 15 minutes to go to set up the stage for Malsom.
"We have had two games on the bounce where it has been great for entertainment, five star no doubt about it," added Clarkson. "If that game doesn't bring people through the gate, I don't know what will."