Cheltenham Town video: Zebroski spurred by memories of a top flight test
CHRIS Zebroski is hungry for another crack at top flight opposition as he bids to fire Cheltenham Town into the third round of the FA Cup at Hereford United tonight.
The 26-year-old forward was in the Bristol Rovers side that reached that stage of the competition last term, earning the right to welcome Premier League club Aston Villa to the Memorial Stadium.
Villa ran out 3-1 winners, but it was a memorable occasion for Zebroski, who does not want Cheltenham to miss out on a glamour tie against Everton if they can finish off the job tonight (7.45pm).
"These opportunities don't come around too often," Zebroski said. "Last season's match against Villa was the only time in my career I've played against a Premier League side and it would be nice to have another go against Everton."
Illness kept Zebroski out of last Monday's 1-1 home draw against Hereford which set up tonight's nerve-racking replay at Edgar Street.
But he returned to the side at Northampton Town on Saturday, creating Darren Carter's goal and then nodding in Billy Jones' free-kick to make it 2-2 before half-time after a calamitous start.
The 26-year-old described the 3-2 victory, sealed by Darryl Duffy's 80th minute cracker, as the best performance and result of the season so far.
"It was frustrating to miss out against Hereford last week, but I've put that behind me and I was pleased with my performance on Saturday," Zebroski said.
"I was delighted to get an assist and then score one and it was good to play up front with Shaun (Harrad) because we haven't played together a lot this season.
"We linked up well and it was a chance for us to keep our shirts for Hereford and I think we both did that. I don't think many teams will go to Northampton and win this season."
Zebroski's goal at Northampton was his sixth of the campaign, taking him level with Harrad at the top of the club's scoring charts.
Having missed three matches this season through illness, he is now desperate for a sustained run of matches.
"I always want to score more, but I am happy with six goals at this stage and for me it's not all about playing every week and being consistent," he said.
"Watching last week's game, Hereford did their homework and tried to frustrate us. It worked because they made us go sideways more than forwards and caused us problems.
"We want to go there and attack them at their place and I think we can definitely get through to the next round."