Friday Nov 8, 2013


by Matt Carter

Alfreton Town will be hopeful of securing a place in the FA Cup second round for the second successive season when they travel to Wrexham on Saturday - a match which represents a repeat of the pairs first round clash twelve months ago.
On that occasion the Reds prevailed in north Wales, clinching a 4-2 victory.
Wrexham, who were beaten in the Conference Premier Play-off final by rivals Newport last season, have struggled to find that kind of form this time round with Andy Morrell's side languishing down in 17th position.
The sides are yet to meet in the league this term - with two tasty clashes scheduled for Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Last season there was little to choose between them with Wrexham coming out on top at the Impact Arena and Alfreton claiming that earlier mentioned cup tie, whilst in the league contest in Wales Alfreton fought out a credible 1-1 draw.
The Racecourse Ground has proved a largely happy hunting ground for Nicky Law's men and they can also boast a 1-0 win during the 2011/12 campaign.
Alfreton will be entering the contest in strong spirits, having won their last three games - a run which includes two league victories and a win over North Ferriby in the final FA Cup qualification round.
The latest of those three victories, a superb 3-0 win over Halifax saw Alfreton produce one of their strongest displays of the season.
A further boost for manager Nicky Law will be that the injury list is now minimal with Paul Clayton now the only current casualty as striker Daniel Wishart returned to training in midweek.
Former Wrexham player Jake Speight - who has scored four goals in three games including a brace against Halifax, has encouragingly been given permission to play by his parent club Mansfield Town.
Alfreton also have two more ex Wrexham-ites on their books in Darran Kempson and Chris Westwood who moved to the Impact Arena in the summer after two very good seasons at the Racecourse ground.
While the Reds will be looking to equal their strongest ever showing in the competition, Wrexham have a prestigious FA Cup history  - having reached the quarter finals on three separate occasions, most recently in 1997 when they were beaten by Chesterfield.
Saturday is undoubtedly likely to prove a tough test for Alfreton but with form on their side and recent history in this fixture in their favour, they will be confident of again making round two and a possible match with one of the big boys in the hat.

Should the tie finish all-square, the replay will be played at the Impact Arena on Tuesday, November 19th (7.45pm).

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