Why should I watch..?

Because this is a big game for Witton Albion.

A midweek defeat against Stalybridge Celtic in a Northern Premier League fixture was a blow following an encouraging victory when Lancaster visited Wincham Park the previous Saturday.

While climbing the Premier Division table is a priority for manager Carl Macauley, he knows a knockout success against AFC Rushden & Diamonds can repair morale that took a hit after that 3-1 defeat.

Albion have also enjoyed success under him in this competition, reaching the first round two years ago.

Rushden’s record in the FA Trophy is a disappointing one since they were promoted to the Southern League in 2015, and they have never progressed beyond this stage.

Their form is better than tomorrow’s hosts though after losing only one of their past nine games in all competitions.

What they’ve said

“It’s important that we’re more ruthless if we find ourselves in a position from which we can win the game.

“We weren’t on Tuesday, and it cost us – it’s something we need to be better at.

“Rushden will be difficult opponents, and the games between us a couple of seasons back were close and hard-fought.”

Carl Macauley, Witton Albion manager

“It’s going to be tough because we played them three times while we were in the same division and lost every time.

“They also still have five or six of that squad still with them.

“However I think we’re a much better team than we were last time we met.”

Andy Peaks, AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager

Numbers game

Witton put five goals without reply past Rushden during three meetings between the teams when they were rivals in the Northern Premier League’s First Division South in the 2016-2017 season

Witton team news

Billy Smart begins a four-match suspension following his dismissal during last weekend’s victory against Lancaster.

However James Yates return after a ban.

Manager Carl Macauley rates Delial Brewster (ankle) as ’50-50’ to be involved, while midfielder Will Booth is a doubt after breaking down following Tuesday’s reverse against Stalybridge Celtic.

Meanwhile Altrincham have granted permission for Liam Goulding, on loan for a month to Albion from the Robins, to play.

Man to keep an eye on

Danny McKenna

A vital supply-line for Rob Hopley and Will Jones in Witton’s attack, he conjured the majority of their clearest chances during the first-half of a midweek meeting with Stalybridge Celtic.

The former Runcorn Linnets man, who received before kick-off on Tuesday an award for his impressive performances during October, is also a threat from set-pieces.

Form (past six in all competitions)

Witton L W L W L L

Rushden W L W W D D

Route to this round

Witton 1QR bt Whitby (a) 1-0

Rushden 1QR bt St Ives Town (h) 2-1

Last season in FA Trophy

Witton First Qualifying Round

Rushden Preliminary Round

Odds (Bet Victor)

Witton 11/8

Draw 11/4

Rushden 11/8

Remember when…?

Witton hosted AFC Rushden & Diamonds in a promotion play-offs semi-final during the 2016-2017 season?

Carl Macauley’s men progressed to the final after Rob Hopley scored shortly after half-time.

His winning goal, a beautifully-lofted finish by over goalkeeper Matt Finlay after winning a foot-race to Anthony Gardner’s clipped pass, captured in a decisive moment the difference between the two teams.

The Guardian was there, and this is how we described it: Witton 1-0 Rushden: match report

Essential information

When Saturday, November 10

Kick-off 3pm

Address Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham, Northwich CW9 6DA

Admission Adults £10, Concessions £7, Under 21s £5, Under 16s £2

Replay date Tuesday, November 13 (ko 7.45pm)

Prize money £4,000