SEVERAL of our sides are in FA Trophy action this evening as the final round of qualifying takes place up and down the country, Quays News gives you the lowdown:
ALTRINCHAM vs Blyth Spartans
Two-time winners Altrincham will look to avoid a potential banana skin when they welcome Blyth Spartans to Moss Lane tonight. Jim Harvey’s team are in wretched league form having won just once all season in the National League North but did win three times in the FA Cup earlier in the campaign.
Although the Northumberland outfit are a league below Alty they are in flying high in the Northern Premier League just four points off leaders Rushall Olympic with two games in hand and will travel south with high hopes of causing an upset.
Should the Robins be the victors of this tie they will play host to local rivals Macclesfield Town in the first round proper on Saturday.
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER vs Nuneaton Town
The 2015 quarter-finalists will kick off their trophy campaign this season at home to league rivals Nuneaton Town.
The Red Rebels handsomely defeated Tommy Wright’s side 3-0 as recently as November 19 and will be hoping their opponents will still be battle-scarred from the loss.
‘Boro had gone seven games without tasting victory before Saturday’s 4-1 dismantling of Alfreton Town and will be hoping to kick-on against Karl Marginson’s side this evening.
The winners of this tie will take on either Stalybridge Celtic or Stocksbridge Park Steels in the first round proper.
SALFORD CITY vs Harrogate Town (R)
This third round qualifying replay at Moor Lane will be played to a conclusion on Tuesday night after a 2-2 draw in Yorkshire ten days ago.
The Ammies twice came from behind to force this replay and are six games undefeated across both the National League North and FA Trophy.
Simon Weaver’s outfit arrested a slump of nine games with no victories when they edged out AFC Telford United at the CNG Stadium on Saturday but are considered the underdogs for this evening’s tie.
The two sides met at Moor Lane in a league match in early November which finished goalless, a repeat of that tonight and extra-time and potentially penalties would be needed to determine who cup specialists Barrow AFC will face in Saturday’s first round.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC vs Stocksbridge Park Steels (R)
Another side hoping to cast aside their league troubles are Stalybridge Celtic. Paul Phillips and Steve Halford’s team have won one and lost eight of their last eleven matches as they’ve slumped to nine points from National League North safety.
Perhaps victory over Stockbridge Park Steels of the Northern Premier League could spark the Bower Fold side into life before 2016-17 becomes a real struggle for survival.
The initial tie in Sheffield saw a 2-2 draw between the sides although the Steels did play for 74 minutes with ten men after Joe Lumsden’s early and rash tackle on Danny Wisdom saw him dismissed by referee Chris Hilton.
Celtic twice took the lead, firstly through Aiden Chippendale and then Daniel Wilkinson but couldn’t put the tie to bed with Scott Ruthven and Jack Poulton’s goals ensuring a replay in Greater Manchester this evening.
The winners of this evening’s tie will take on the victor of the FC United – Nuneaton tie in the first round proper.
Keep an eye on Quays News for updates and reports of all tonight’s FA Trophy results.