BRING it on.

That’s FC Clacton boss Tom Austin’s defiant message after his side were handed an FA Vase assignment at Deeping Rangers.

The sides will meet in a third-round contest at the Lincolnshire outfit’s Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday, December 1.

Clacton booked their place after a 1-0 victory at home to Kirkley and Pakefield, on Saturday.

And given his side’s recent purple patch in form, Austin insists his players have nothing to fear.

“We can’t wait,” he told the Gazette.

“Obviously, we would have preferred a home draw but we’ll enjoy the occasion and experience of going somewhere different.

“It’ll be a difficult game.

“From what I can see, Deeping are a decent, well-organised side that are good on the counter-attack.

“They’ve already knocked a couple of Thurlow Nunn League sides out of the Vase, winning 4-1 at Walsham-le-Willows and 1-0 at Newmarket.

“But we don’t have any fear at the moment.

“Kirkley are third in our division and we beat them 1-0 on Saturday.

“In fact, we’ve played them four times this season, winning twice and drawing twice.

“For us, it’s about being consistent and if we do that, and play the way we’re capable, we’ll always fancy our chances.”

Clacton have already eliminated Hoddesdon Town and Buckingham Athletic from this season’s Vase.

Now they face opposition from the United Counties League premier division – also step five of the non-league pyramid – with the winners pocketing a cool £1,125.

There are fourth and fifth rounds before the quarter-final, followed by a two-legged semi-final and then the final at Wembley Stadium.

“I’ve told the players that we’re only a handful of matches from Wembley,” added Austin.

“That has to be the aim and that’s why the Vase is such a special competition for clubs like Clacton.

“It’s the best opportunity and it’s down to the boys now.

“It depends how much they want it.

“We can give them the tools and set things up as we think should be done – then it’s over to them.”

Austin felt his side were worthy winners against Kirkley on Saturday.

Matt Eve’s early goal separated the sides, with the only blemish being a red card for Jake Plane.

The wide man was sent off in the second half, for kicking out, and now faces a three-match ban.

“I thought we dominated the first half, then dug in and showed our character after Jake’s sending-off,” said Austin.

“It was a really good result and a great reaction following our little mishap at Oakley (losing on penalties in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup last Tuesday).”

Clacton earned £900 for Saturday’s win.

Meanwhile, the Clacton boss confirmed that James Gregory is on the comeback trail after a long spell on the sidelines due to knee ligament damage.

The defender is back in training after six to eight weeks out.

Clacton host Thetford Town in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).