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Cherries: Cook desperate for Hastings cup draw
SUSSEX boy Steve Cook is hoping to lead Cherries into their very own FA Cup battle of Hastings.
Isthmian Premier Division outfit Hastings United yesterday reached the first round of the competition for only the second time in their history after seeing off brave Wessex League outfit Blackfield & Langley 3-0 in the fourth qualifying round at the Pilot Field.
And Cook, who was born in the East Sussex town and came through the ranks at nearby Brighton before sealing a permanent move to Cherries in January, is desperate for a clash with his mates when the first round draw takes place today.
The 21-year-old, speaking to the Echo after Cherries' 3-1 win over Tranmere yesterday, said: "I went straight back into the changing room to find out the score and I was delighted for them.
"I've got a lot of mates who play for them and I know the manager really well. They are struggling a bit in the league, but having a great run the cup. Hopefully, we'll get them in the first round.
"I'd be buzzing if we got them. Even though it's my home town, I've never played at the Pilot Field and it would be great.
"I'd love to get Mansfield, too, as I was there for a while, but, really, it doesn't matter too much as long as we progress."
Cook was an unused sub as Cherries marked Eddie Howe's first game in charge with a convincing win over the league leaders.
Jake Jervis put the visitors in front at Goldsands Stadium, before second-half strikes from Marc Pugh, Harry Arter and Simon Francis completed a second successive home win for the Dorset side.
Cook, though, could be drafted in to deputise for left-back Charlie Daniels when Cherries visit Notts County on Tuesday night.
Daniels will serve a one-match ban after picking up a fifth booking of the campaign yesterday.
Cook added: "The gaffer coming in has been like a breath of fresh air. We have been sharp all week and although we seemed a bit nervous in the first half, we were excellent after the break. It was probably the best we have played for sixth months.
"The lads were at it and it was brilliant to see.
"It's always disappointing not to play but, as long as we win, it doesn't matter to me.
"Perhaps I will get a chance on Tuesday, but we will have to wait and see.
"As long as we are winning, I have no problem. Tranmere are a massive scalp as they were unbeaten. We hadn't been playing the best, but I think we can kick on now and climb the league.
"Everyone can beat everyone in this league and it's up to us to get this run going now."