THE Webbs are a family already steeped in FA Cup tradition.
Tomorrow they will pool their resources in an effort to condemn Sheffield United to what would be a memorable and embarrassing defeat.
Daniel Webb, whose father David lifted the trophy with Chelsea 42 years ago, is a member of the Salisbury City side which reached the third round for the first time in the club’s history courtesy of an extra-time victory over Grimsby last month.
“We’ve had special shirts made and tracksuits too,” he told The Star. “But people shouldn’t think that means we’re coming up to Yorkshire just to take in the atmosphere and take part because we’re coming to try and win.
“Of course, the odds of that happening are long; very long in fact. But you never know in football and so there’s always a chance that we can do it.
“Like the rest of the lads, I’m going to enjoy everything afterwards but not before.”
David, who famously scored the winning goal in 1970’s epic tussle with Leeds, plans to make the long journey from his home in the south of England to watch Darrell Clarke’s side lock horns with United.
Having tasted success in the tournament, he is disappointed that reaching the later stages is no longer viewed as a priority for many of those taking part.
But, with spells in charge of Southend, Brentford and Yeovil on his CV, not to mention a short stint back at Stamford Bridge, he can sympathise with those managers who regard it as an irritating distraction on an already congested fixture schedule.
“Times change,” David said. “When I was playing your targets were always the league and the cups, especially the FA Cup.
“But what you’ve got to remember is that, back then, you pretty much got the same money if you won the league that you did if you came bottom whereas now there’s a huge difference.
“I’m sure Danny (Wilson) at Sheffield United will want to do well. But if you told him he could win all of his next 20 games in the league and getpromotion providing United got beaten by Salisbury then I think he’s take that.”
Although Wilson has adopted an ‘old school’ approach to knockout competition since taking charge in May - several players have revealed he was “furious” after being beaten by Bradford in the JP Trophy - Salisbury will be looking to exploit the faintest whiff of complacency among United’s ranks.
“We’re a full-time
club so, in terms of fitness at least, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be on a par with the United lads in that regard,” Daniel said.
“Of course there’s going to be a massive difference in terms of ability but we’ll give it a real go.”
Although the Conference South club’s directors would doubtless prefer to be visiting Old Trafford rather than Bramall Lane, Daniel is adamant Salisbury’s triumph at Blundell Park was rewarded with a “perfect draw.”
“Sheffield United are still a Premier League club in my eyes,” he said. “But if we’d got an actual Premier League club then we’d probably be lining-up against people we’d never heard of because they’d make so many changes.
“With respect, Sheffield United probably don’t have the size of squad to do that.
ing to be great for our fans - it’s all about them really - and great for us as players too.
“How can you not be fired up about the thought of walking out of the tunnel and going head to head with someone whose played for England like James Beattie?”
Salisbury have form when it comes to upsets. In December 2006, they held Nottingham Forest to a second-round draw when Matt Tubbs, now of Crawley, cancelled out Nathan Tyson’s opener.
Admitting that Salisbury enter the contest with everything to gain and United much to lose, David said: “It’s difficult for big clubs like Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday to live-up to everyone’s expectations when they find themselves in the lower divisions.
“The FA Cup is still a wonderful competition. Where else could a team like Salisbury find themselves in a match like this?
“But United won’t want the fixtures to start clogging up too much because plenty of times we’ve seen teams fall off the pace when they get a stack of games at the end of a season. Danny will want to do well and go as far as he can. But he also knows that promotion has got to be his main aim.”
Teams and ref
SHEFFIELD UNITED (possible): Long, Ertl, Collins, Jean-Francois, Williams, Montgomery, McDonald, Williamson, Flynn, Beattie, Evans (4-4-2).
SALISBURY CITY (Possible): Scott, Adelsbury, Casey, Webb, Brett, Giles, Kelly, Anderson, Williams, Fitchett, Knight (4-4-2).
David Webb. Not former FA Cup winner and father of Salisbury City defender Daniel. This David Webb, Sheffield United will be glad to hear, is a bone fide official from Lancashire. Oversaw Brentford’s visit to Bramall Lane earlier this season. Has issued 74 yellow and five red cards in 23 outings.
One to watch
Stuart Anderson scored the penalty which propelled Salisbury into the third round of the competition for the first time in their 65-year history. The Scottish midfielder includes Southampton, Blackpool and Peterhead among his former clubs.
Tomorrow’s match will be the first time these two teams have met in a competitive fixture. United were beaten by Aston Villa in the third round last term. Steve Simonsen, Nick Montgomery and Johannes Ertl all featured against the Premier League outfit.