Non-League: Tough tests come thick and fast for FA Trophy hopefuls Farsley Celtic
Farsley Celtic manager, Adam Lakeland, is expecting a difficult contest when his side take on Altrincham in the first round proper of the FA Trophy.
The West Yorkshire outfit may be head and shoulders above their opponents in the league but Lakeland admits his men won’t be taking it easy.
He said: “It’s going to be a tough game; I know they’re a tough side.
“They may be at the wrong end of the table but they are a good team and we won’t be taking them lightly.
“Our record against them recently hasn’t been the best so we know we’re going to have to play well to progress.
“Our pitch at home is not the greatest and we are obviously more used to it than them so we’re hoping that this is something that will work in our favor.
“But we’re going into this game with good form and we’re confident we can get a result.”
Farsley have been performing well above expectations in the National League North and currently find themselves in eighth place.
What’s more, they come into this latest fixture having gone five games unbeaten in all competitions.
Lakeland now wants to see his side go as far as they can in the cup, saying: “We had a good run last year and we ended up going out to Telford who were a league above us and ended up making the semi-final.
“If you can look after your own performances and get through the early ties – if the draw is kind to you then you’ve got an opportunity of going quite far in the competition.”
Harrogate Town also turn their attentions to the FA Trophy tomorrow when they welcome Hartlepool United to the CNG Stadium.
After that, they face a run of five league matches in just 15 days over the festive season, a period that goalkeeper James Belshaw believes will go a long way to defining their season.
“Overall, if you look at the bigger picture I think we’re doing pretty well and I am comfortable with where we are in the table at the moment,” he said.
“We are still in a position to challenge the top three, but we are heading into a really important part of the season.
“We lost four out of five over Chirstmas and the new year last season and I believe that blip really cost us.
“We have to do much better this time around and keeping things tight and remaining solid at the back will play a big part (in that).
“When you’ve got so many games in such a short space of time and you’re going to places like Chorley in the middle of winter, we’re going to need to win ugly on occasions.
“There will only be the odd goal in a lot of these games, so if we’re going to nick results, we can’t keep conceding threes and fours.”
FC Halifax Town boss, Pete Wild, says any win will do as his side kicks off their FA Trophy campaign against Wrexham at The Shay.
The Shaymen slipped to a frustrating 2-0 defeat at Yeovil Town last weekend, despite having an extra man for 80 minutes.
It is now one win in 10 games for Halifax, who are without a victory at The Shay in their last six matches.
“We just need to win, whatever way we do it, we’ve got to win,” said Wild. “And I’ll be picking a team to go out and do just that.
“We want to progress in the Trophy, we want to get back to winning ways, we want to address our home form and we want to put things right from Yeovil.
“That was the most frustrated I’ve felt this season.”
Elsewhere, Guiseley are set to enjoy a weekend off after being knocked out of the competition a few weeks ago at the hands of Telford.