Preview: Boston United v Harriers
Harriers begin their quest for the FA Trophy this afternoon at fellow National League North side Boston United.
Having beaten bottom club North Ferriby in the league in midweek Harriers will look to continue their recent good form and stretch their unbeaten run to four games against the next team up in the table.
John Eustace has added one new face to the squad since Tuesday's game in the shape of Bermudan international goalkeeper Dale Eve a former Stoke City youth player who has also featured for Newcastle Town, Congleton Town, Forest Green and most recently Ilkeston. He will provide some cover for Brandon Hall while Harriers' other keeper Jono Brown and Tom Palmer are out on loan. There are no new injuries since the North Ferriby game; Joel Taylor continues to recover from a groin strain while Dan Bradley has had surgery on his knee and will be out until the new year.
Boston have not had a great season so far; currently second from bottom they have recently changed manager, Craig Elliott taking over from former Harrier Adam Murray just a couple of weeks ago. In the league they have just one win in the last ten games, losing seven in the same spell, and have not won at home for four games. Elliott may be without the injured Brad McGowan and Liam Wakefield while former Harrier Tyrell Waite is cup-tied after having appeared for Matlock in a loan spell. The manager can, however, include new loan signings Kyron Stabana and Adam Curry who have joined from Derby County and Hull City respectively.
Earlier this season the sides played out a 1-1 draw at Aggborough in the league, Manny Sonupe with the Harriers goal. Overall the series is level with each team having 15 wins from the 38 games played. The only other FA Trophy meeting saw Harriers win 5-2 in the 1985-86 season.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hall; Pearson, Austin, O'Connor, Horsfall; Weeks, Croasdale, McQuilkin; Sonupe, Ironside, Ngwatala.
Subs (from): A. Brown, Eve, Klukowski, Truslove, Wright.
Missing (injured): Bradley, Taylor, Vaughan.
Missing (suspended): Williams.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Clarke, Digie, Palmer.
Missing (dual reg.): Finch, Webb.
The referee will be Declan Bourne from Nottinghamshire. This will be his fifth time in charge of a Harriers game; last season he did the home wins over Tamworth and Weymouth in the FA Cup and a draw and defeat away from home in the league at the erstwhile tenants and FC United.
Kick-off time weather is forecast to be sunny with a nippy 5°C temperature and no chance of rain.