Town urged to learn lessons for Trophy replay

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Claudio Dias faces a fitness test for tonight's FA Trophy replay.

FOOTBALL

STRATFORD Town will look to cut off Mickleover Sports’ threat at source to ensure they book their place in their third qualifying round of the FA Trophy for the first time tonight.
The reward for the winners of tonight’s replay at Derbyshire side Mickleover Sports is a home tie against South Shields on Saturday, 24th November.
Tom Baillie’s men had led in Saturday’s tie, only to concede an equaliser five minutes from time after a contest they largely dominated but then could easily have lost, but for a last-gasp save from Richard Walton.
But Stratford now have a better idea of Northern Premier side Mickleover’s strengths and weaknesses and assistant boss Scott Machin warned they will need to nullify the hosts’ forward threat as well as sharpening their own attacking edge.
“We’ve had a look at them now and you can see their strength is probably their front three,” he said. “They want to get the ball up to them early so, for us, it’s a question of trying to cut off those passes. We need to cut off the supply by getting our midfield a bit closer.
“On Saturday, Albi Skendi was in and out of the game; he didn’t dominate the game like we are used to seeing him do. “Will Grocott was good in the first half because we got him on the ball but then not so good in the second half because we ended up missing him out too often.
“We ended up putting ourselves under pressure. We will learn from it and look to be better on Tuesday.”
Claudio Dias, who was ruled out through injury on Saturday, will need a fitness check.
Meanwhile, Town’s trip to Alvechurch – scheduled for tonight but postponed due to the Trophy replay – has been rearranged for Tuesday, 27th November (7.45pm).