FOOTBALL’S coming home – just ask Lymington Town boss Dave Lewis.

The romance of the FA Cup has not been lost on Lewis, especially since the second qualifying round draw paired them with non-league big guns Torquay United.

Such are the David (or Dave, in this case) versus Goliath possibilities, it is a tie which has been selected for live streaming by the BBC and will be shown on Saturday (12.30pm).

However, while home advantage for Lymington may have had a bearing on the decision to select it, their Sports Ground headquarters has staged very few FA Cup matches down the years.

As joint-tenants along with the town’s Southern League cricket team, every season the football club can only take ownership of the facility at the start of September.

Lymington’s first qualifying round clash against Lydney Town a fortnight ago was the first FA Cup tie at the venue for seven years.

Since meeting neighbours Brockenhurst in the preliminary round in 2011, Lymington’s six ‘home’ matches have had been played at either New Milton or Bashley.

Cricket and football have been played since the 1800s and the ground – which is now also home to Lymington Bowls Club and Lymington Tennis Club – was once several acres of allotments.

Just 12 months ago, changing rooms and hospitality suites at the Southampton Road venue were portable buildings as work was completed on a new pavilion, which is also shared between cricket and football clubs.

“I’m not sure Torquay will get their entourage in the dressing room so we may have to get in some more Portakabins to fit them all in!,” joked Lewis, who runs an industrial and commercial cleaning business.

Lewis is preparing to take charge of his sixth FA Cup tie of the season having needed replays to see off Sandhurst in the extra preliminary round and Lydney in the last round with Frimley Green beaten 2-0 at New Milton’s Fawcett’s Field in the preliminary round.

“As we have gone so far in the FA Cup this season, we have actually lasted long enough in the competition to play games on our own ground.

“We do miss our home comforts in the early rounds and we can’t train at the ground either. Not having a proper football facility does hamper the team and it’s always nice coming home.

“In pre-season, we trained at Woodside on the outskirts of Pennington. There were no goals or marked pitches so we didn’t go through too many shape drills or team play.

“We could only really focus on getting them fit. We had them running in the New Forest but even that was quite interrupted due to the World Cup.

“Our preparation in pre-season wasn’t the best for a variety of different reasons, one being the World Cup and another down to not having a home ground to train on.

“We have been training at the Sports Ground for three weeks and it is rubbing off on the team. We are a town football team. It is what it is and it makes us what we are.”

Currently 10th in Sydenhams Wessex Premier, Lymington will host a Torquay team which is 12th in National South – with 61 places and three steps of the non-league pyramid between them.

The Gulls, who took Tottenham to a third round replay in 1964-65, have reached the fourth round on seven occasions, the last of which was in 2010-11 when they were in the Football League.

In his first managerial post in his own right, Lewis will pit his wits against new Torquay boss Gary

Johnson, who has taken charge of more than 1,000 games.

“Torquay are one of the old ladies of football,” added Lewis, who played locally for Lymington, Bashley and Brockenhurst before coaching at Follands.

“They are an institution and have been around in the pro game for a long time. I know they have had a few issues in recent years but it’s still the same club with the same supporters so the heritage is still evident.

“There is romance in the New Forest when it comes to football and this tie really epitomises that.

I’m expecting them to approach the game in a professional way.

“I don’t think they will take us lightly and will prepare properly. We are really looking forward to it. Our outlook is positive. We have a cracking team and some fantastic players.

“There is improvement in the team and it can only get better. We haven’t reached our peak by a long way.

“We are riddled with long-term injuries but the lads have been fantastic. The instability has not affected the team at all.

“We are aiming to give Torquay a bumpy ride but they will be welcomed by the local community, that’s for sure.”