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View from the Dugout: We’ve beaten them once – now let’s do it in the cup

Today it’s Emirates FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round action for us as we welcome Bradford (Park Avenue) to the J Davidson Stadium.

Today it’s Emirates FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round action for us as we welcome Bradford (Park Avenue) to the J Davidson Stadium.

Prize money in this year’s competition has doubled and there is £15,000 for the victors in this round, but the players will need no more motivation than to progress to the fourth and final qualifying round, where teams are just one step away from the competition proper and the chance of playing an EFL League 1 or League 2 side.

It’s only three weeks since we played Bradford (Park Avenue) in the Vanarama National League North, when for the first time since I became manager at Alty almost 18 months ago, I felt that we were fortunate to win, having not played particularly well.

Last week, we were superb at Kidderminster, yet came away with nothing, against the best team that we have played to date, whilst I have been manager of the Football Club. It was hard to take to come away with nothing after such a good performance by both the players and fans, who were outstanding with their vocal support for the full game, something that was really appreciated by the players, my management team and the opposition fans.

Watch highlights from last week:

Jordan Hulme was unable to start that game at Aggborough. He is suffering from Iritis and one of the symptoms is that sunlight causes his eyes to water. It was a bright sunny day last Saturday, so Jordan was only able to come on in the final half hour when the sun had weakened. Today’s weather forecast is for a dull cloudy day, so hopefully, he will be able to start this afternoon.

Simon Richman will not be involved again, due to a hamstring injury… he was able to do some running on Thursday night but didn’t train. Shaun Densmore is also very doubtful – he has been suffering with a lot of pain in the joint of his big toe that has kept him out of action in recent games.

John Johnston celebrates his goal at Kidderminster

Ben Harrison is also missing, we will get his knee scan results on Monday and therefore will know more next week, in terms of how long he is going to be out for.

With seven substitutes in the Emirates FA Cup, it’s possible that Joe Thompson and Callum Harris might be in the squad for a game that will be very tough, against a very good side that have won both of their games, without conceding a goal, since we won 3-2 at the Horsfall Stadium at Darlington in the last round of the FA Cup, and at Alfreton last Saturday in the league.

We know that both teams will be up for it but I am confident that my players have already shown that they are capable of beating today’s opposition and there is no reason why they can’t do it again today.

Skipper Jake Moult in action

Pictures: Michael Ripley