Salford City host Maidstone United in the third round of the FA Trophy tonight at the Peninsula Stadium, with a place in the quarter finals and a tie versus Stockport County awaiting the victor.
The match was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday February 2nd, but was postponed due to the adverse weather conditions.
MATCH DAY ⚽️
Maidstone United visit The Peninsula Stadium for the second time this season in the Buildbase FA Trophy Third Round!
⏰ KO 19:45
? Pay on the gate (Adults £10, Concessions £5, 5 and Under FREE)
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) February 5, 2019
Salford enter the match in a rich vein of form, currently sitting 2nd in the National League and undefeated in five games dating back to the turn of the year.
The Ammies, who ended 2018 with three successive defeats have since won three times – including an impressive 3-0 victory away at leaders Leyton Orient – and drawn on two occasions in January.
Graham Alexander’s side have kept four clean sheets in the process, conceding only once in 2019 so far.
In the FA Trophy first round, Salford defeated Gateshead 3-1, thanks to goals from Devante Rodney (2) and Mani Dieseruvwe. Progression to the next stages saw the Ammies face Dagenham and Redbridge, with Rodney and Dieseruvwe adding to their tallies in a 2-0 win.
Opponents Maidstone United have fared far worse, having lost their last three games on the spin, dropping to 23rd in the National League as a result.
A run of two wins in 11 league outings saw Harry Wheeler relieved of his duties, with a new-look management team of John Still and Hakan Hayrettin appointed as successors on January 24.
Still, 68, has secured promotion from the fifth tier on three occasions in his successful managerial career, including winning the Conference title with The Stones back in the 1988-89 season. Hayrettin, 48, left Braintree Town to take the job at the Gallagher Stadium, leaving his former side bottom of the National League and nine points adrift of safety.
The duo failed to inspire the struggling Stones to victory in their inaugural game, falling to a 3-0 loss to Leyton Orient last time out.
With more than a week since the defeat, The Stones will hope to get back to winning ways with a cup upset tonight.
Maidstone progressed from the first round via a replay versus Woking, drawing the first tie 1-1 before a close fought 3-2 win. In the second round, The Stones overcame Oxford City thanks to a sole effort by Jack Richards.
After Salford’s 2-0 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge in the previous round, manager Graham Alexander admitted he was keen on a cup run.
He said: “We just want to win any game we play in, you can’t turn the winning mentality and the will to win on and off.
“It’s important that we go into every game with the right mentality and focus. We’re a competitive group, we can’t and don’t want to turn that off, so we’ll go into every game looking to win.”
The Ammies fielded a rotated side versus Daggers, handing debuts to two players and making eight changes in total from their prior league game.
Alexander said: “I was delighted for them all because it makes them feel value within the squad.
“It’s important that we have that going into an important stage of the season where there’s a lot of big games. We need as many players fit and firing as we can possibly have, so win’s like that (Dagenham) will only help us improve that.”
He concluded: “I think we’ve improved in our mentality since the game against Dagenham – we all have to be reminded about the basics and good habits that we have to instil each week.
“There’s still lots of improvement to be made and we still want to continue the run of form we’ve been on since the turn of the year.”
The quarter final tie between Salford City/Maidstone United and Stockport County is scheduled to take place on February 23 away at Edgeley Park.