View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: We’re underdogs today, but anything can happen in the Cup

By David Prior at

The latest column for Altrincham Today from Altrincham FC manager Jim Harvey…

It’s the Emirates FA Cup today and after three home draws in the qualifying rounds, we are on our travels for the first time in this year’s competition to face Lincoln City.

We know that this is a very tough assignment as Lincoln are second in the Vanarama National League, whilst we are second bottom of the division below. Whilst we were losing 3-0 at Bromsgrove last Saturday against Worcester City, Danny Cowley’s side won 5-2 at Chester who were unbeaten in nine games going into that match.

Andy McWilliams in action against Worcester

Andy McWilliams in action against Worcester

I watched today’s opponents beat Guiseley 2-1 in a replay in the last round. They are a very well organised, hard-working and physically very strong side… we will need to be at our best to get a result, but, against the odds, I won there last season in the league with Halifax and the aim is to do that again with Altrincham today.

I have brought in two new players, both of whom are not cup-tied and therefore available today.

Curtis Obeng is a classy right back, who likes to get forward. He did a great job for Wrexham before getting a dream move to Swansea City and whilst he did not make the first team in his three years there, he did gain Football League experience with loan periods at Fleetwood, York, Stevenage and Newport.

Phil Marsh (right) challenges for the ball

Phil Marsh (right) challenges for the ball

Simon Lenighan has signed from Warrington Town… he is a very talented midfielder who has played at Leeds and Rotherham. Whilst he has lost his way a little bit in terms of his football career, he will definitely improve our options in midfield, which is an area that we have struggled to compete in in recent games.

John Cyrus and Greg Wilkinson have fully recovered from their respective ankle and thigh injuries… Greg was on the bench at Worcester last week but would only have been used in an emergency.

Craig Hobson will not be available for a few weeks yet. He has been struggling with a leg injury that an X-Ray has now shown to be a fracture and Wayne Thomas, who did well for us last week on his debut at Worcester, is not available, as his parent club, Kidderminster, are still in the Emirates FA Cup and do not want him to be cup-tied should they progress against Blackpool on Sunday.

Sean Miller on the ball at Worcester

Sean Miller on the ball at Worcester

In terms of suspensions, Alan Goodall is missing following his red card at Worcester, but Tom Hannigan returns after serving his three match ban for getting sent off in the last round against Matlock.

We know that in many ways, we are massive underdogs for this game, but I have been around in football long enough to know that anything can happen, particularly in this wonderful competition.

Images: Michael Ripley