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Ward aim is Cup run

IRELAND international Stephen Ward says he is desperate to end his FA Cup hoodoo and go on a run in the competition this season with Brighton.

Ward, on loan to Brighton from Wolves, hopes to overcome injury and line out for the Seagulls in tomorrow's fourth round clash with Port Vale, but the FA Cup has not been kind to him since he left Bohemians in 2007, with bad memories such as a defeat for his Wolves side against a non-league Luton last season.

The former Bohs man also had little luck with his FAI Cup experiences: he scored twice on his senior debut against Skerries Town and scored eight Cup goals in his four seasons at Dalymount Park (all against non-league sides, incidentally).

But a run to the semi-final in 2003 was as good as it got for Ward in the Cup as his Bohs side were twice knocked out by lower league teams, Kildare County and Shamrock Rovers.

So the 28-year-old is keen for his luck to change. "It would be nice to go on a run. I think the furthest I've ever got was the fifth round and that was in my early days at Wolves," says Ward, who has made 24 appearances for a promotion-chasing Brighton this season.


"We played plenty of tricky ties like this at Wolves. I was speaking about it the other day to a couple of the lads.

"When I was at Wolves, our priority was usually promotion or battling against relegation. The FA Cup sometimes didn't fulfil the potential it had.

"And last year we lost at Luton. It was one of those typical cup ties. The pitch was quite wet and muddy, a few decisions didn't go our way, they battled hard and got the win.

"It was disappointing, but that's the magic of the FA Cup I suppose," added Ward, who has made 24 appearances for Brighton this season after leaving Wolves on a season-long loan deal.

Ward still has a full year left on his contract with Wolves at the end of this season, but Brighton are thinking about making a bid to secure a permanent deal.

And Ward could be joined by another Dubliner at Brighton, as the Seagulls are competing with Championship rivals Millwall to sign Shaun Willams from MK Dons before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.