FOOTBALL: Trophy test for Spalding United

WE'LL MEET AGAIN: Neal Spafford battles for possession against Gresley who took a point at Spalding last month from a controversial penalty awarded for handball. He is available for Saturday's game after serving a suspension.
WE'LL MEET AGAIN: Neal Spafford battles for possession against Gresley who took a point at Spalding last month from a controversial penalty awarded for handball. He is available for Saturday's game after serving a suspension.
  • Buildbase FA Trophy preliminary round - Gresley v Spalding United
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Unbeaten league leaders Spalding United take a break from their championship challenge for ‘a free game’ in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday.

They face a tough trip to Gresley who are the only other team yet to lose this season in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South.

The preliminary round winners will collect £2,500 from the FA’s prize fund and book an away tie on October 29 with Lincoln United or Romulus.

That may mean a return to Ashby Avenue for ex-Whites boss Dave Frecklington in the first qualifying round.

He said: “We know exactly how Gresley play and vice versa.

“We’re on top of the league for a reason but this is going to be another hard game because of a massive slope on their pitch which plays into their hands.

Hopefully we can earn some prize money and there is a possibility of facing my former club as well.

Dave Frecklington

“It’s a free game for us in terms of taking a break from the league.

“Hopefully we can earn some prize money and there is a possibility of facing my former club as well.

“When I was in charge of Worksop Town we got to the last 32 of the FA Trophy having beaten Chester City and we got knocked out by Newport County who lost in the final at Wembley.

“So I know a cup run can create a lot of interest for the club and I will be trying to get the message across to our players on Saturday how important this competition can be.”

Neal Spafford is available after serving a suspension for his controversial red card in the 2-2 draw with Gresley two weeks ago.

Jason Field is closer to full fitness after returning to the squad for the past couple of games.