JAMES GRAY is confident Wealdstone can sink his fellow Yorkshiremen from Rotherham and show why non-league football encapsulates the spirit and ethos of the game.

The powerhouse centre-half was born and bred in the Hillsborough area of Sheffield, just a few miles from their South Yorkshire neighbours.

He was on the books of his club, Sheffield Wednesday, as a youngster but also spent three years at Rotherham's school of excellence between the ages of 14-16 after he joined his brother, Andy, playing for the club's Sunday league side, the Millmoor Juniors.

And while he is proud of his Steel City roots Gray is loving life at Grosvenor Vale, where he says a capacity crowd on Sunday will help unsettle Ronnie Moore's side.

"The FA Cup has taken over here and it's exciting," said Gray, who turned 31 yesterday (Wednesday).

"Everyone loves the competition and it's great to be part of it. I think we've got a really good chance on Sunday. We will play with no fear and won't be overawed by the occasion. We've power and pace and can hurt sides.

"We've shown in pre-season against Leeds and Watford what we can do."

Gray, a builder and plasterer for Harpenden Construction, has reached this stage of the competition before with Lincoln United more than a decade ago but hopes to go a step further with Gordon Bartlett's Ryman Premier high-fliers.

"We played Walsall away when I was at Lincoln and we lost 2-0," he recalled. "I think we touched the ball twice in the entire game. Their ability shone through in the end."

And while beating Rotherham would be a coup for everyone involved at Wealdstone, for Gray it is also about flying the non-league flag.

You won't hear him complaining if his beloved Owls return to the Premiership in the future but do not expect to see him watching Match Of The Day unless the bastions of non-league spring a few upsets.

"I fell out with the pro game as it's downright boring," he added. "The top sides in the Premier League don't put half as much effort into things as non league sides do."

Many of Gray's friends and family are expected to make the journey down on Sunday and he would not mind a replay, simply from a selfish point of view.

"It would be fantastic if we did it at the first attempt but it would be great to get a replay as Rotherham play in Sheffield now (at the Don Valley stadium), which would be great."

However, Gray faces an anxious 24 hours before he discovers whether he can be involved on Sunday. He has a disciplinary hearing in front of the Middlesex FA tomorrow (Friday) to discover his fate over the pre-season sending off at Hitchin Town for a headbutt, an offence which carries a maximum 112-day ban and a standard 'offer' given by the county association.

Stones will already be without striker Greg Ngoyi, dismissed at Aylesbury in the last round for violent conduct.