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Matlock Town: FA Trophy Previews

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Tue 29 Nov 2016
Posted in First Team

A disappointing 1-1 draw with Matlock Town has forced FC Halifax Town into a replay, a tie which must be won if The Shaymen want to defend their FA Trophy title.

However, Billy Heath’s men were not the only team to have troubles in this competition, with a number of Vanarama National League North teams set to have a match on Tuesday night.

One upcoming tie that features two of the stronger teams in the league is between Salford City and Harrogate Town. This will be the third time that the two sides will meet in November, with neither team gaining the advantage in either match. The first came at Harrogate’s ground, Wetherby Road and ended in a rather eventless 0-0 draw. But such is the magic of the cup, their second game against each other and their first in the FA Trophy match played out to an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Salford showed great character to come back twice in the game thanks to goals from James Poole and Michael Nottingham and despite going down to ten men with ten minutes still left to play, Salford clung on to force a replay at their own ground.

Another tie which features two teams from the Vanarama National League is the match that pits FC United of Manchester against Nuneaton Town.

Nuneaton may have been counting their stars that the game was postponed due to frost covering parts of Broadhurst Park because their last game in the league came against FC United of Manchester and ended in a miserable 3-0 loss.

Nuneaton have struggled this season and are only above the drop zone on goal difference. It may only seem like the tie can go one way when the two teams play on Tuesday, especially when the fact that 14 goals have been scored by the Manchester club in just their last five games. However you can never bet on a cup game with full confidence, and Nuneaton have the ability to spring an upset here.

This was not the only postponement made as Chorley and Stafford Rangers have to wait until Tuesday for their game. Chorley will go into this game as huge favourites, sitting comfortably second in the Vanarama National League North. Rangers are 18th in the Evo Stick Premier League table and face a side who have won four games in a row, only conceding twice in the process.

One of the surprises of the round came when the side that sit 13th in the Evo Stick NPL Premier League table, Mickleover Sport have taken Brackley Town to a replay. John Mcgrath’s team could have had it even better after their top scorer for the season, Adam Baskerville put his side ahead in stoppage time for his seventh goal of the season.

It is fair to say many people enjoy cup games due to there always being a chance of a giant killing but fortunately for Brackley Mickleover’s defence failed to clear a cross from Ellis Myles which left Alex Gudger to hammer home an equaliser just moments after his side conceded. Blushes may have been spared, but this particular replay is worth keeping your eye on to see if Micklesover can cause an upset.

Finally the result which is certainly the most interesting, Darlington 1883 were held by Marine FC, a side which is struggling in the Evo Stik Premier League.

Darlington are fourth in the Vanarama National League North and are one of the favourites to clinch a play-off spot at the end of the season, but that did not mean they could take the Marine fixture lightly.

In fact it was the Evo Stik side who raced into a shock 2-0 lead. Michael Monaghan struck through a crowd of players in the 28th minute before William Smart connected with a free kick just three minutes later. Darlington may have battled back thanks to goals from Terry Galbraith and Stephen Thompson.

Despite throwing away a 2-0 lead Marine must be happy that they will be taking Darlingto back to their own ground for the match on Tuesday.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist