Hednesford Town Football Club are just over 24 hours away from hosting their first FA Cup First Round tie at Keys Park for thirteen long years, as League One Crawley Town wait in the wings for Rob Smith’s in-form table topping team.
Oldham Athletic were the last side The Pitmen faced at this stage of the FA Cup at home, when Hednesford lost 4-2 in the year 2000 and manager Smith says that the players can now look forward to facing The Red Devils from West Sussex knowing that any result other than a defeat would be a great achievement.
‘We will all be really excited tomorrow. The team have no expectations on them at all. We are just going to enjoy the day; it makes a nice change to be pressure free.
‘We just need to make sure we prepare as we always do and make sure the game does not pass us by.’
ITV will be showing highlights of the game on Saturday night having erected a television and commentary gantry over the Wimblebury Terrace and Radio WM will also have a reporter giving live updates, but Smith is confident his squad will not be overawed by the occasion.
‘I don’t think the players will really notice the extra coverage, I will just tell the lads to play the game and not think of the cameras.
‘We have to accept there will be long spells when we do not have the ball, but if we remain organised and work hard we will get chances of our own.’
Despite his belief that his squad can play their usual game under the spotlight, Smith does admit that playing a high profile game for the first time in over a decade gives the opportunity for the Club to show that success is brewing at Keys Park this season.
‘The wins at Telford, West Auckland and Stamford were hard and the players deserve this chance. The club is on a real high at the moment and we must all make the most of it and show to the football world what a good set-up we have at Keys Park.’
Team news wise, midfield enforcer Dave Macpherson serves the second of a three match suspension and recent new signings Tom Thorley and Paul McCone are both cup-tied so the central defensive partnership of Ben Bailey and Francino Francis is likely to be reunited.
An attendance of at least 2000 is hoped for on Saturday afternoon and all supporters are encouraged to get to the ground early to avoid queuing at the turnstiles.
Despite the three league gap between the two sides Crawley, having lost four on the the trot, will not be relishing the trip to what will be a bouncing Keys Park, as The Pitmen look to add the Red Devils to their list of league teams vanquished on the home turf, which includes York City and Barnet.
Should Crawley become the third on that list it’s fair to say there will be some rather happy Hednesford fans as the supporters ready themselves for the drama, ecstasy and agony of the greatest cup competition in the world.
Hednesford Town Form – DWDWWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 2-1 Colwyn Bay – The Skrill North – Tuesday 5th November 2013
Next Fixture – Workington (H) – FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round – Saturday 16th November 2013
League Position – 1st
Crawley Town Form – LWLLLL
Previous Result – Bristol City 2-0 Crawley Town – Sky Bet Football League One – Tuesday 5th November 2013
Next Fixture – Carlisle United (A) – Sky Bet Football League One – Saturday 16th November 2013
League Position – 13th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffs, WS12 2DZ
Adults – £12
Concessions – £7
Under 16s (accompanied by an adult) – £3