Our record in the second round of the FA Trophy is rather mixed. In 10 previous seasons in the competition, we’ve reached this stage six times, and on three of those we’ve gone through to the next round.
We’ve never lost at home in the second round, but having said that, we’ve never beaten a side from the same division as us at this stage either. Our victories all came against lower league sides in Basingstoke Town, Solihull Moors and Stockport County.
We were the victims of a giant-killing in 2011 when a heavily-rotated side lost in the second round at Salisbury City, and we’ve subsequently also lost at this point in Luton and Torquay.
The last time we got through to the third round, where we have a 100% record, was under Kevin Wilkin in 2015.
It would be nice if we could get off to a flying start today, as we did in the last round when Chris Holroyd scored after just 56 seconds. That was our quickest ever goal in the FA Trophy, and we’d only scored in the opening ten minutes in two of our previous 33 games in the competition: in our very first FA Trophy match Jon Brown put us ahead against Mansfield in the third minute; and in January 2015 Wes York struck in the fourth minute against Stockport.
Here’s my column from last week’s Leader. It forms part of the paper’s comprehensive pre-match coverage every Friday, featuring interviews, an in-depth look at the opposition and lots of statistical analysis. All content in the column (c) www.leaderlive.co.uk.