Carlisle United boss Chris Beech has played down any suggestion of a gulf in class between his Blues side and non-league outfit Hayes & Yeading United.

Beech’s Blues face an FA Cup first-round tie on Sunday against a West London side three leagues below them in the football pyramid.

It will be a unique cup tie for both sides, with the SKYEx Community Stadium sitting empty of spectators. With the cancellation of non-league football in response to the coronavirus lockdown, it also poses the risk of being Hayes’ last game for the foreseeable future.

Chris Beech believes this means his opponents will be fighting tooth-and-nail to progress to the next round and after a strong start to the season – United sitting fifth in League Two after 11 games – he shook off any concerns surrounding complacency.

“Whoever we face we have to have complete focus and we have got to respect what we are doing and who we are playing against,” he said. “I am certainly very respectful of Hayes. I wouldn’t say there is a gulf in class, they’re a very good London club.

“What we have seen are some shock results with Manchester United and Liverpool heavily beaten. I don’t see that happening with supporters in the ground. The biggest thing is the challenge of going behind.”

The gaffer says the players have missed the support of the fans during games behind closed doors.

“We did ever so well to go 3-0 up against Newport and they managed to score twice in the last eight minutes of the game.

“It’s such a shame for the lower-league clubs not to have that support. Normally there is a pressured build-up but it’s going to be so different. They won’t be talking to supporters pre-game and we won’t see fans carrying tin FA Cups.”

Despite having a very different feel this time around, the FA Cup is still a trophy that means a lot to the Blues boss.

“Personally it has been brilliant," he said. "I managed to get to the fifth round and managed to score a couple of goals. I got two against Derby (for Huddersfield) who were a Premier League side at the time (one in the first game and another in the replay).

“I was also part of Paul Simpson’s team at Rochdale who got to the fifth round against Spurs two years ago (assistant manager).”

Carlisle United have no new injuries to report since the 3-2 win against Newport on Tuesday.

Beech commented that although any potential extra funding from the FA Cup would be welcome, the sales of Hallam Hope and Jarrad Branthwaite have put the club on a stronger financial footing than some of their rivals. Kick-off is at 12.45pm on Sunday. The game is available on BBC Digital Platforms and via the red button.