Goalkeeper admits last season's defeat at home to Middlesbrough is still fresh in his mind ahead of Barton trip.
Josh Bexon got to experience The FA Youth Cup with three appearances in 2014/15, and the second-year scholar is hopeful that Southend United U18s can travel further than the Third Round this term.
The Kent-based shotstopper played in victories over Leverstock Green and Barnet before lining up in the narrow 4-3 reverse to Premier Academy League pacesetters Middlesbrough at Roots Hall last December. He is hoping that Tuesday’s clash at Barton Rovers will be the beginning of another exciting run.
“I think everyone will be buzzing for The FA Youth Cup as soon as we get over the AFC Bournemouth game. We’ve got to get over it quickly with a game on Tuesday. Hopefully we can lift our performance and do better on Tuesday night,” he said after a Youth Alliance Cup Third Round reverse to the Cherries.
“Last year, in the Leverstock Green game it was 6-0 and I didn’t have too much to do, but I did what I needed to, and then against Barnet we won 1-0 with ten men. That was a hard-fought win and the team battled well to set up the Middlesbrough match, which was heart-breaking.
“We had to deal with that, and hopefully we can go further this year. I think, with the team that we’ve got, we have a good bunch of boys and everyone is enjoying it at the minute, so we’ll see if we can keep the spirit going.
“In that Barnet game, they were throwing wave after wave constantly at us. Johnno got sent off, but after we went down to ten men, everyone stayed together and it was a great team performance. I think this year we’ve got even better togetherness, so I think the performances are going to be even better,” he claimed.
Bexon is a veteran of almost 50 games for the Shrimpers youth team, and he has also appeared for the U21s, and he will be calling on all of that experience at Sharpenhoe Road. Despite the prospect of progressing to face a big club in the Third Round, the custodian insists that the tie is no more important than any other match in his development.
“You should approach The FA Youth Cup in the same way because it is just another game, but it is a cup game and you only get one shot at it. If we lose we’re out and if we win we’re through to the next round, so you have to look at it as a must-win game.
“You’ve got to concentrate on everything else that’s going on. We’ll take the cup games as they come and we also want to focus on the league because we want to be in Merit League One and we’ll just do what we can in the must-win cup games. If we keep doing what we’re doing, hopefully we can win them,” he declared.