The FA Cup proper began this weekend with 48 teams from the Football League joining their non-league counterparts in the first round round, and the Impact Arena is the venue where Alfreton host Fleetwood.
Sitting 16th in the National League North, Alferton are relishing the chance of welcoming Fleetwood to Derbyshire. With the Reds without a win in their last five league games, they’ll be hoping this weekends game in the FA Cup is a different story. Certainly looking to draw confidence from their 4-0 demolition of St. Neots in the previous qualifying round. Two big performers from that display were Alfreton’s Curtis Bateson and James Clifton, both scoring a brace. Manager Billy Heath will be hoping they do the same on Saturday to help raise the side into the FA Cup second round.
Standing in their way however will be Joey Barton’s Fleetwood who’ll be hoping to bounce back after their 3-0 defeat to Gillingham last weekend. Spirits have been high recently at the North West club after beating local rivals Blackpool 3-2 for the first time in their history and the game at Alfreton can be the stepping stone for more confidence in the league.
The Cod’s have some promising players who can certainly set this FA Cup tie alight. Former Sheffield Wednesday winger Ross Wallace is one of the big names in the Fleetwood ranks and with his depth of experience is one that Alfreton will be worried about. Another danger man is 23-year-old midfield Wes Burns who has been in great form recently, scoring a stunning long range effort against Blackpool the previous week. And with a main tactic of Fleetwood being speedy balls whipped into the box by their widemen, Paddy Madden is the lethal goal poaching striker that the opposition need to keep an eye on.
Both teams should be looking to take this game seriously because for both a good run in the FA Cup will be beneficial financially and gives their fans something to really shout about.
Alfreton 1-3 Fleetwood Town
Picture Credit: Fleetwood Town