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Tough FA Trophy test awaits Town against league leaders

Zephaniah Thomas scored twice against Garforth Town
Zephaniah Thomas scored twice against Garforth Town

BRIGHOUSE TOWN, for the second time already this season, make the long trip to Morpeth on Saturday for their preliminary round FA Trophy tie (3pm).

Brighouse Town, for the second time already this season, make the long trip to Morpeth tomorrow for their preliminary round FA Trophy tie (3pm).

As they were booking the coach for the trip up the A1, news came through that Town had been draw away to Morpeth in the second round of the Integro League Cup. That knockout tie is scheduled for Tuesday, October 30 (7.45pm).

Brighouse returned from Morpeth, in their second league game of the season with a narrow 2-1 defeat.

The unfortunate fixture tie up with the Northumbrian club brings back memories of last season, when Town played Preston-based club Bamber Bridge in the FA Cup, the FA Trophy and in the league inside a seven-week period.

Town assistant manager Stacy Reed is not fazed by the travelling or by taking on the Evo-Stik East league leaders on their own turf.

“Reflecting on the game against Stamford last Saturday, having dominated most of the game with 10 men and coming away with nothing was very disappointing,” said Reed.

“However, apart from the first 15 minutes, we were delighted with the performance against a strong opponent and proved again that with the right approach and mentality we are a match for anybody.

“On Monday we wanted to continue the good form against Garforth Town in the County Cup.

“We made six changes to the starting line up from Saturday to give some players a chance to force more competition in the squad; this included six players from the under-20s.

“After the first five minutes we took control of the game and the lads provided another dominant performance. It was pleasing to see Zeph Thomas get his first goals since joining and we look forward to him getting fitter and seeing what he is really capable of.

“On Saturday our second trip to Morpeth will be our toughest test so far. Morpeth are flying high in the league and have already opened a gap up at the top of the division.

“They have also not conceded many goals so its going to be a really tough game but one we are looking forward to.”

Saturday’s game will be replayed if the sides are level on 90 minutes. Town should have defender James Hurtley back after he missed the defeat at Stamford.

Brighouse could be without experienced keeper Jordan Porter who has sustained knee ligament damage. He is likely to be replaced by Matt Smith.

Iwan Heeley is set to miss the next three games through suspension after he was red carded at Stamford.

Winger Tom Robinson, who was in a rich vein of form before picking up a foot injury, is in line for a return.

In Monday night’s West Riding County FA first-round tie, Vill Powell rested birthday boy Sam Wright, Tom Haigh, Aaron Martin, Mohammed Ibrahim and Ousman Cham.

Elsewhere, Town have parted company with 33-year-old midfielder Adam Jones by mutual consent.

On Saturday afternoon, a slow start cost Brighouse dearly on their trip to Stamford.

Three first-half goals from the hosts was enough for Stamford to take all three points and bring an end to Town’s unbeaten run in all competitions. Goals from Bradley Tomlinson and Christopher Salt put Stamford 2-0 with just 13 minutes played. The visitors were then reduced to 10 men after Heeley was sent off on 23 minutes.

Town responded through Tom Haigh just before the half-hour mark before Grant Ryan restored the two-goal cushion 10 minutes later.

Aaron Martin pulled one back for Brighouse with 20 minutes to go, but despite their pressing Town couldn’t find an equaliser.

On Monday night, Brighouse defeated Garforth Town 4-0 in the West Riding County Cup. Goals came from Zeph Thomas, Gabriel Johnson and Rhys Jenkinson.