Cheltenham Town head to Accrington Stanley’s the Wham Stadium on Saturday looking to cause an Emirates FA Cup upset and earn a much-desired place in the third round (kick-off 3pm).
The Robins travel to take on Sky Bet League One Accrington, who have enjoyed an impressive start to life in the third tier, after their eye-catching promotion from League Two at the end of last season.
Victory over Ebbsfleet United at the second attempt in the first round has offered Michael Duff’s troops the opportunity to challenge for a place in the third round when the elite clubs from the Premier League and Championship enter the competition.
There’s also a £54,000 prize up for grabs this weekend for the winners, and despite the difficult challenge that lies ahead against a team from a level above, the Robins will head to Lancashire aiming to spring a surprise and to inflict an FA Cup giant killing.
It’s still touch and go whether Jacob Maddox will be fit for Saturday’s fixture. The Chelsea loanee has been out of action recently though another loanee, Kelsey Mooney, could return from a knock.
Kevin Dawson and Sean Long are definitely out with injury problems.
Watch manager Michael Duff preview Saturday’s trip when he spoke to the media in this week’s press conference:
A late stoppage time home loss to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday saw Saturday’s opposition slip to a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions. It was a result that has seen them drop to 11th in League One after an outstanding start to the season following their promotion as League Two winners last term.
John Coleman is in his second spell as manager there, and much like his first stint between 1999 and 2012, he has done a superb job on limited resources. Assisted by long-term associate Jimmy Bell, their squad includes former Robins midfielder Scott Brown and features front man Billy Kee whose goals last season were crucial in their promotion success.
Another former Cheltenham face in their camp is Rotherham United loanee Michael Ihiekwe who lines up at the back, while midfield men Daniel Barlaser and Jordan Clark will be ones to look out for, as is the long-serving Sean McConville.
The last time Accrington made the FA Cup third round was during the 2016-17 season when they knocked out Luton and progressed to take on Middlesbrough in the fourth round – exiting following a narrow 1-0 loss at the Riverside.
It’ll be the first time Cheltenham and Accrington have come head-to-head in an FA Cup fixture this weekend, though the two clubs have been regular foes in League Two since their first clash in October 2009.
The two clubs have faced each other 16 times with the Robins just about edging the contests with six wins compared to Accrington’s five. There have been five draws between the two.
Last season ahead of Accrington’s promotion to League One the meeting at the Wham Stadium finished in a 1-1 draw with Mo Eisa netting in the first half, while the next clash at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium later in the campaign saw Accrington gain three points with a 2-0 win.
The highest scoring clash took place in October 2010 as Jeff Goulding netted a brace alongside Brian Smikle and Robin Shroot goals in a 4-2 away victory.
Revisit the two club's last contest at Saturday's venue from last season:
Information for travelling supporters
Cheltenham fans have till 3pm today to book on the supporters’ coach making the journey to the Wham Stadium. Call 01242 573558 (option 1) to book on or visit the ticket office.
Tickets are available to buy on the day at Accrington and are priced at:
12-17 year olds: £5
Under 12s: £2 (must be accompanied by an adult)
Keep an eye on @CTFCofficial on Twitter for team news, match updates, and images from the Wham Stadium. Get full reaction to the meeting on the club website after the game.
Listen to match commentary on iFollow by checking out ctfc.com/ifollow.