Meadow Lane is the setting for quarter-final action in the Buildbase FA Trophy this weekend as Aveley pay us a visit!
The victorious side will be just one round from Wembley and it’s a huge day for the Essex outfit, with the match being billed as the biggest in their history.
They’ve had an exceptional run to this point. Aveley started their journey in the preliminary stage, progressed through three further qualifying ties and then three rounds of the competition proper.
In fact, since the preliminary round they’ve knocked out higher league opposition at every turn and saw off Vanarama National League South side Chelmsford City last time out.
Conversely, this is our first game in the competition against anyone from outside our division, but it’s been a memorable run on our part, too.
Michael Doyle’s last-minute stunner knocked Dagenham out before an astonishing display of heart and desire helped us overcome Yeovil with nine men in the third round.
Neither side will want their run to come to an end, so it should be a fantastic Trophy tie at the Lane!
Assistant manager Neil Cox says…
“We want to get to the final but we have to get through this one first and it’s not going to be easy.
“They’ve had really good results and are in form so we have to be organised and do everything to the best we can.
“We’ve done our homework on Aveley. A friend of mine knows them really well and they can cause us problems but it’s about what we do.
“They’re going to enjoy the day and will try to stop us so we’ve got to get the ball, get in behind and make them keep chasing.”
Aveley boss Keith Rowland says…
“We’ve played nine ties to reach this point and the praise must go to the players and people who run the club.
“I’ve been in the game over 30 years and remember playing at Notts County in front of about 15,000 so part of my job this weekend is to try to use my past experiences to help the players embrace the occasion.
“Talent alone is never going to be enough to make it and I was able to build a career by getting the most out of my ability and showing the right attitude.
“That’s part of what I will be looking for against Notts County. I have a great bunch of players who work so hard, listen and learn and we just want to give it a real go at Meadow Lane.”
We’ll have new signing Scott Wilson available to make his debut after the striker joined on loan from Oldham on Friday.
Cox has said some changes will be made as we’re tasked with another three-game week but neither Alex Lacey nor Damien McCrory are fit to return despite training on Friday.
Aveley will look to Alex Akrofi to provide their threat in front of goal. He’s netted seven in the FA Trophy this season and 46 in his 80 appearances for the Millers.
South African midfielder Jason Raad has netted five during the run, too, and he’s had a hand in 26 goals this season.
In the event of the scores being level at full-time, extra time will be played.
There will be no replay so penalties will be used to separate the sides if no one’s come out on top after 120 minutes.
Referee: Garreth Rhodes
Assistants: Paul Stonier and Bradley Hall
Fourth official: Scott Tallis