Rochdale take up arms to end lengthy wait

While the rest of the country tune into Wembley for this afternoon's 127th FA Cup final, four sides meet either side of the showpiece match, vying for the opportunity to follow Portsmouth and Cardiff to the famous stadium and earn a place in League One next season.

Darlington take a slender 2-1 lead to Rochdale in the lunchtime kick-off and midfielder Neil Wainwright has insisted the Quakers will not take anything for granted. "We know how good Rochdale are at home and they are going to come out all firing on all cylinders," he said. "We'll certainly not get complacent, that's for sure."

David Stockdale should shake off an ankle injury to take his place in goal, although Ryan Valentine and Tommy Wright [both knee] and Ben Parker [hamstring] remain doubts for Dave Penney's side.

Rochdale hope to end a 34-year stay in the bottom tier of the Football League. Dale defender Nathan Stanton returns after missing the first leg through suspension, although James Spencer [hernia] and Sam Russell [finger] remain on the sidelines.

Lee Thorpe also misses out, after breaking his arm while arm-wrestling team-mate Rene Howe on the way to last weekend's match at the Darlington Arena. "Everyone on the bus heard the snap, it was that loud," striker Chris Dagnall said.

In the evening kick-off, Stockport hope to make home advantage count when they host Wycombe Wanderers at Edgeley Park, with the tie level at 1-1 after Sunday's bad-tempered first leg.

A number of robust challenges led to jostling between backroom staff in the dugouts at Adams Park, with Wycombe midfielder Sergio Torres admitting he went over the top in a challenge on Stockport's Tommy Rowe.

"I don't know why I did a tackle like that, it wasn't like me and I apologised to the player afterwards," the Argentine said. "There were a few bad tackles but everyone wants to play at Wembley. We want to win, they want to win and I think it will be a very attacking game of football to be involved in."

The Stockport manager, Jim Gannon, remains confident his side will progress in front of their home support. "The footballers we have are strong enough to stand up to any physical battle," he said.

"We'll stick to our principles and certainly don't want the game to get into a battle. But we have to be resilient if it gets physical and then get the ball down and play our own game."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea