After a 1-1 draw away at Bradford City on Saturday in League Two, Forest Green Rovers travel to Vanarama National League South outfit St Albans City on Sunday for the FA Cup first round.
Rovers played in front of 14,873 supporters at Valley Parade – the biggest crowd ever for a Forest Green game in League Two. On Sunday, Rob Edwards’ side kick-off their FA Cup campaign at the 5,007 capacity Clarence Park, with the 38-year-old looking forward to a change in competition after a hectic October in terms of League action.
“It’s a great occasion for us, we’ve had a really tough month – six big games, four long away trips,” said Edwards.
“To get 11 points from the month is a fantastic return, and now we look forward to going into the FA Cup, which is one that we all look forward to – it’s going to be a great occasion.”
Due to international call-ups for Colchester United, Forest Green’s League Two fixture with Hayden Mullins’ side has been postponed – the clash was originally intended to take place on November 13 at the Fully Charged New Lawn.
This means that Rovers face a month of football on the road with their last home game the 3-1 victory over Salford on October 23, and their next match in Nailsworth not until November 23, when Barrow visit Gloucestershire.
Four matches in a row on away turf isn’t a scenario that fazes Edwards.
“It’s inevitable that at some stage of the season there’s going to be bumps in the road and one or two things change so we’ve just got to adapt, deal with it and roll with the punches – it’s not something we’ll worry about too much.”
As for St Albans, Ian Allinson’s side return to FA Cup first round action for the first time in five years, with just over four thousand fans expected at Clarence Park on Sunday evening.
The clash between two inform sides, who are seeking promotion in their respective leagues, will be shown live on BBC Two, with kick-off at 17:15pm and over two million people anticipated to tune in.
It is set to be a huge occasion for the city with St Albans one and only victory against a Football League 97 years ago with a 5-3 win over Brentford and the 1996-97 season the last time they reached the FA Cup second round.
The hosts required replays in all three of their qualifying rounds to get to this stage, with only penalties separating themselves and Corinthian Casuals last time out.
St Albans fan Jacob Ellacott – host of the Podful of Saints podcast has emphasised the magnitude of the fixture.
“It’s huge for the club, one of our biggest games in a long time – we’ve never been on BBC Two on a Sunday afternoon before!
“It’s a real treat for the whole club and the city, I know the excitement is really growing, we’ve sold out all our tickets for it.
“This exposure is unbelievable, it feels like its going to be a very special day.”