TWO OF the High Peak’s non-league sides head off on the road this weekend as they bid to reach the national stages of The FA Carlsberg Trophy.
Buxton FC and New Mills AFC visit Stamford AFC and Skelmersdale United respectively in the Third Qualifying Round of the competition on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
New Mills are bidding to make history by qualifying for the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy for the very first time.
The Millers will make their second trip in little over a fortnight to The West Lancashire College Stadium to face league rivals Skelmersdale.
High-flying Skem have won ten of their opening 11 Evo-Stik First Division North fixtures this season - their 100 per cent record only being spoilt by the thrilling 3-3 draw against New Mills last month.
Roy Soule, who recently took charge at Church Lane following the departure of Ally Pickering, said of the Trophy clash: “We’re really looking forward to the challenge.
“At the end of the day it is another game, but there’s a bit of prestige attached to it and we want to progress as far as we can in the competition.
“We don’t fear anybody because on our day we fancy our chances against most teams.
“There’s only one team we need to fear and that’s ourselves, and we need to make sure everything is in place and put our efforts into doing well for ourselves and for the club.”
There will definitely be a game at Church Lane on Monday evening but the opposition will not be known until 5pm on Saturday evening. The scheduled Evo-Stik First Division North fixture against Farsley will be postponed if a replay with Skelmersdale is required. Either way, the home game will kick-off at 7.45pm.
Martin McIntosh’s Buxton side, meanwhile, are bidding to reach the First Round Proper for the first time since 1989.
They travel to Evo-Stik First Division South side Stamford, who in the previous round accounted for FC United of Manchester at home, coming from behind in the second half to win 2-1.
McIntosh said: “It is a big match and keeps our season alive in terms of the cup so we know it is a good opportunity for us to progress and make the First Round Proper, which the club hasn’t done in quite some years.”
The manager will have a near full squad to pick from, with only Kallum Keane suspended.
And after the Bucks’ 3-1 FA Cup victory at Stamford weeks earlier, McIntosh is hoping for a similar result to maintain their 100 per cent record at Kettering Road.
“I thought we were worthy winners that day,” added McIntosh. “It was a game in which they certainly made life very difficult for us, but in the end we scored at the right times. Saying that, Stamford have definitely got the players there to cause us problems.”
If a replay is required, it will be staged at the Silverlands on Wednesday November 14 (kick-off 7.45pm).