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Alfreton Town
FA Cup | Second Round
Dec 5, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
The Impact Arena

0 - 0

Newall (85')

Knowles (85'), Daniels (90+2')

Preview: Alfreton Town vs. Walsall - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Alfreton Town and Walsall, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

League Two outfit Walsall will be bidding to avoid a surprise exit in the second round of the FA Cup when they travel to National League North side Alfreton Town on Saturday afternoon.

Walsall secured their spot in the second round of the competition courtesy a 4-1 victory over Sheppey United, while Alfreton have had to win four matches to progress to this stage.

Match preview

Alfreton's journey in the FA Cup started in the middle of September, recording a 4-2 victory over Cleethorpes Town, and they then beat Emley AFC and Macclesfield to reach the first round proper.

The National League North side made it four straight wins in the competition with a 2-0 success over Worthing earlier this month, and they will now be bidding to claim a League Two scalp to make round three.

The Reds have never made the third round of the FA Cup, with this just their third-ever appearance in round two, so the team are chasing some history this weekend, and it would be some achievement if they were able to secure their passage to a stage which could bring a very lucrative tie.

Billy Heath's side will enter this match off the back of a five-game winless run in all competitions, though, including a 1-0 defeat to Brackley Town in the league last weekend.

Alfreton are currently ninth in the National League North table, picking up 29 points from their opening 19 matches, which has left them just one point off the playoff positions.

General view inside Walsall's Bescot Stadium before the match on January 28, 2023© Reuters

Walsall, meanwhile, have made the fifth round of the FA Cup on six previous occasions, so it will be difficult for them to create history this term in terms of progression in the tournament.

The Saddlers have only had to win one match to advance to this stage, recording a 4-1 victory over Sheppey United in the first round earlier this month, coming from behind in that clash.

Mat Sadler's side will enter this contest off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Barrow on Tuesday, with the result leaving them down in 19th position in the League Two table on 21 points.

Walsall have not actually been victorious in the league since the middle of October, and they are only six points outside of the relegation zone, which is occupied by Forest Green Rovers and Sutton United.

Neither side will enter this match in the best of form considering their league results, but it would be a surprise to see the League Two team eliminated at this stage.

Alfreton Town FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Alfreton Town form (all competitions):

Walsall FA Cup form:

Walsall form (all competitions):

Team News

Jordan Thewlis has been Alfreton's main source of goals this season, finding the back of the net on eight occasions, and he will continue in the final third of the field here.

Jake Day has four goals to his name this term, meanwhile, and he is also set to start, with Billy Fewster operating in a slightly deeper position.

There are not expected to be any major surprises in the home side's XI for this contest, although Liam Waldock could potentially miss out on a position in the starting side.

As for Walsall, head coach Sadler could potentially name the same side that took to the field for the first whistle against Sheppey United in the last round of the competition.

Douglas James-Taylor netted in the last round, and the 22-year-old, who is yet to find the back of the net in League Two this season, should again feature in the side.

There is also expected to be another start in a wide position for former Derby County youngster Isaac Hutchinson.

Alfreton Town possible starting lineup:
Willis; Brisley, Digie, Clackstone, Newall; Cantrill, Lund, Perritt; Fewster; Thewlis, Day

Walsall possible starting lineup:
Evans; Riley, Okagbue, Daniels, Gordon; Knowles, McEntee, Stirk, Hutchinson; Tierney; James-Taylor

SM words green background

We say: Alfreton Town 1-2 Walsall

Alfreton have enough quality to make this a very uncomfortable match for Walsall, and we are expecting it to be a close affair in terms of general play and the scoreline. However, we are backing the League Two side to navigate their way into the next stage of the competition.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Group A

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Group B

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