Football: Meadow no golden field for Murphy

Tonight's FA Cup replays again pit part-timers against the professional s. By Ian Parkes
AS IT is highly unlikely that Notts County should decide to take the night off this evening, the fears of the Hendon manager, Frank Murphy, appear well-founded. The Scotsman believes that is only way his part-timers can join the ranks of FA Cup giant-killers as his Ryman Premier League part-timers head to Meadow Lane for their first round replay.

It was only the state of Hendon's pitch nine days ago which Murphy reckons prevented the Nationwide League Second Division club from progressing to the second round. Now he fears the worst.

"This game is a far cry from when they had a 1pm kick-off on a Sunday afternoon on what looks like the local playing field," he said. "That didn't suit them at all. They took one look at it and didn't fancy it. But it was a bonus it went to the replay. If I'd known beforehand we would get the draw I would have been happy. To be honest, we can't compare with Notts County. I'm just hoping they have a night off.

"But I've got some honest lads and all I ask is they go up there and perform to the best of their ability."

Rochdale and Scarborough meet for the third time in four games, with the latter's Mick Wadsworth believing his side can maintain their unbeaten run against their Lancashire opponents. A League win at Spotland followed the first-round draw and despite having just 14 fit players for the trip over the Pennines, Wadsworth said: "We are looking forward to it. It's a one-off game, which will go to a result on the night and we are very confident."

Gil Prescott, Macclesfield's assistant manager, is considering the stark reality of an FA Cup defeat for his side against Slough, of the Conference. After being held at Moss Rose, Prescott said: "They have earned the right to play at home but if we can't beat them then we don't deserve to be in the competition."

The Exeter manager, Peter Fox, already has his eye on a lucrative second round tie following his side's late escape at Dr Martens League Premier Division side Tamworth. City equalised in the fifth minute of injury-time to snatch a 2-2 draw and a replay at St James' Park, with Fox admitting: "The late equaliser at their place was ideal for us. It's turned the tie around.

"It was a tricky game but we have given ourselves a chance now. If we can get through it sets up a nice West Country derby with Bristol Rovers."

Darlington have offered the help of their physio to get West Auckland's Gary Innes (back) and Darren Jackson (shoulder) fit for their home replay date with Yeovil. Graeme Foster, manager of the Northern League club, said: "Darlington, Hartlepool and Bedlington are through and with the backing of 2,000 fans we can join them."

Ronnie Moore faces another selection problem for Rotherham's Millmoor replay against Emley. Paul Dillon, Jason White, Gijsbert Bos, Alan Knill and Gary Martindale are all out because of injury, while new signing Rob Scott and on-loan Paul Raven are ineligible to face the UniBond League club.

Plymouth wait on the fitness of Chris Hargreaves, Sean McCarthy and Mick Heathcote for their trip to Kidderminster Harriers.