FA Cup: Steve King praises Whitehawk supporters after upset

Whitehawk manager Steve King paid tribute to the club's fans after the National League South side reached the FA Cup second round for the first time.

The Hawks upset National League Lincoln City 5-3 on Sunday in front of a crowd of 1,342 at the Enclosed Ground.

"I've done 700 games in non-league over 12 years as a manager and that group of fans are amazing," he told BBC Sussex.

"From minute one, they were having a party. Talking to them, they can't believe what is happening here."

Whitehawk won three promotions in four seasons to reach level two of the non-league pyramid in 2013, and missed out on promotion to the National League last season after losing the Conference South play-off to Boreham Wood.

King hopes their FA Cup exploits, which began in the second qualifying round, will attract more regular supporters to the club.

"With the way we played, the application and desire, I hope a number of them come back," he said.

"The fans we have got are loyal but we only have three or four hundred [each week]. With the football we play, the players deserve to be playing in front of more people.

"People are missing a trick in non-league in Sussex if they don't come and watch us.

"We try and entertain. This club can move on and hopefully they can get on the ride with us."

Whitehawk fans
Whitehawk fans celebrated with players on the pitch after beating Lincoln City 5-3 on Sunday

Whitehawk had not progressed past the fourth qualifying round of the competition before this season and skipper Sergio Torres hopes they can emulate fellow Sussex side Crawley Town, who reached the fifth round in 2010-11 when they were a non-league club.

Midfielder Torres was part of that Crawley team, which had their run ended by Manchester United at Old Trafford, and he is hoping for a winnable tie when the draw for the second round is made on Monday evening.

"Since we got to the first round, I said 'come on boys let's have a good run this year'," the 34-year-old Argentine said,

"There is always one non-league club who gets further. Who knows - we are one game away from Old Trafford, Manchester City or Liverpool. It is a dream for all the players."