All you need to know ahead of tomorrow's match
A place in the third round and a chance to draw one of the giants in English football is up for grabs tomorrow afternoon as Town welcome National League side Solihull Moors to Kenilworth Road.
The Moors have already tasted the blood of higher ranked opposition so far in the competition this season, having beaten Yeovil Town on penalties in a first round replay.
A Jack Byrne brace earned Solihull a second bite at the cherry after the Glovers had cruised into a 2-0 lead in the initial tie at Huish Park. Darren Way’s side paid the price for not seeing the first match out when they were in control, being defeated 4-2 on spot-kicks at Damson Park.
Prior to that the Moors had beaten Kettering Town in the final qualifying round, whilst the Hatters won 3-1 at Exeter to earn their place in the second round.
Looking over league form makes good reading for Nathan Jones’ men, having only lost one of their last 11 matches in League Two.
The Moors go into tomorrow’s match off the back of a 0-0 midweek draw at Southport, after last Saturday’s 2-0 home win over North Ferriby United.
Liam McDonald’s side’s top scorer Akwasi Asante netted both of the goals in that game, and he is at the summit of his team’s goalscoring charts this season with 12.
After watching Solihull in action, Jones knows how Solihull have set up in previous games, but he doesn’t want to hazard a guess as to how the visitors will approach tomorrow’s match.
He said: “I have no idea how they are going to set up. I know how they have set up in probably their last eight games, because I have watched five of them and my staff have watched the other three.
“So I know how they normally set up. Whether they go that way with us I don’t know, I can’t second guess. What we have got to do is make sure we are ready and if we put in a performance, as I keep saying, it takes some side to beat us.”
The competitive nature of the competition is something that Jones relishes, especially in ties which involve Non-League club taking on Football League opposition – something he experienced from both sides as a player.
“I enjoy them,” he continued. “I love the FA Cup. I really, really love the FA Cup. I remember when I was at Brighton we played Aldershot and we won comfortably on the day, but we had a good side at Brighton and we did it right.
“I played and scored for Southend versus Woking. It was good memories last time I went back there for our pre-season game.
“I was a Non-League player with Merthyr and we drew Leyton Orient. We should have beaten them really, but we didn’t. I have been on both sides of it. It’ll be a good tie, a real good tie, and one we are pleased with. It’s the romance of the cup.
“It’s a little bit of respite from the league. You won’t be looking at the table thinking ‘have we made a little bit of ground on people today?’ It’s a winner takes all game.”
Christopher Sarginson will referee tomorrow’s match at Kenilworth Road. He has handed out 52 yellow cards this season and two red cards in total.
The match will be proceeded with a minute’s silence in memory of Town legend Paul Futcher and the plane crash which saw 71 people die, including 19 staff and players from Brazilian side Chapecoense.
Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s match from the ticket office and the Mall club shop, both by phone and in person.
Reserved seating applies in all areas of the ground other than the Oak Road Stand.
Solihull Moors have sold in excess of 600 tickets for this fixture.