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Match preview Vs Blackpool - FA Cup 1st rd

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Date: 06-11-16gif Venue: Bloomfield Rdgif Kick off: 14:00hrs

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The Harriers go into this controversy riddled FA Cup 1st round game at Blackpool tomorrow hoping that all the in-club fighting, politics and protests are put behind them once the whistle reaches the referees lips at two o'clock.

This isn't to say that what is going on at Blackpool should be dismissed or is 'nothing to do with us' because it is and every true football supporter in the country should be right behind the Blackpool fans and their fight against the shady ownership of the Oyston family.  On Thursday, in a Liverpool court house, the fans became the first victors when the Oystons claim for defamation against a supporter was withdrawn by them at the last minute to give the fans a moral victory in the fight to change the way the club is run.

Elton N'Gwatala For us the Blackpool Supporters Trust are donating part of what they would have spent watching their team play us tomorrow to a fund that will make up what monies KHFC will have lost due to the expected low gate following their refusal to attend games while the Oystons are in situ.  Our own board have thanked them and for their part will not be taking up their place in the directors box or meeting the owners.  It remains to be seen what will happen if the game is drawn and the Blackpool board turn up at Aggborough on Tuesday 15th November.

With all this going on our main focus has to be on the game itself and if we can come away with the eagerly hoped for win and progress into the 2nd round of the Cup.

We'll continue to be without Jared Hodgkiss due to his hernia injury but the good news, the really really good news, is that Elton N'Gwatala (left) should be back for the game following his recent shoulder injury.  In his time on the sidelines Liam Truslove has deputised for him, and deputised well, but he's a different style of player to Elton and we've missed the Frenchmans silky skills.  Without him Mani Dieseruvwe has failed to find the net so he'll be wanting him back too.

Jamille Matt The bad news is that we won't have Ryan Croasdale working hard in the middle of the park for us following his fifth booking of the season a couple of games back.

We have no other injuries but we have seen quite a few fringe players either go out on loan or leave in the past week or so.  Wayne Thomas (Altrincham), George Forsyth (Rushall), Ben Clarke (Stourport) and Dan Sweeney (Rushall) have gone on loan while Nathan Millichamp has left the club.

With seven substitutes allowed for the FA Cup and just seventeen players available to us then we're one short squad wise and the allowance of these players to leave on loan could look a bit silly unless we promote another kid from the Academy to sit on the bench.  At least we can only use three of the subs during the game.

Apart from the behind the scenes problems, or caused by, Blackpool are a team in disarray having just five years ago being in the Premiership, for one season, but then dropping all the way back down to where they started against us in the 2000-01 season when we last met them.  It was our promotion season into the Football League Division 3 and that same season the Seasiders gained promotion into Division 2 via the play offs thanks to the two games against us when they won 4-1 at Aggborough and then 5-1 at Bloomfield Rd.

They'll be without Tom Aldred for the game following his fifth booking of the season picked up in the 2-2 draw at Cheltenham last weekend and out injured will be former Harriers keeper Dean Lyness with an ankle injury while Jack Redshaw has yet to feature this season following a leg injury that is not responding to treatment.  They'll have our former striker Jamille Matt (right) available for them after he joined them from Fleetwood at the start of the season although he has yet to find the net for his new club.  Hopefully he won't find it this weekend either.

Back to the start of this preview and the consequences of the situation up there will be plain to see for all visiting Harriers fans.  First we'll be welcomed by the protesting Blackpool fans and no doubt some will be asking us not to enter the ground and support their protest outside with them.  That would be a non starter though because why would any Harriers fan travel all that way just to miss a game that could see us into the next round.  By all means we'll protest with you until it's time to go in and we can then forget those protests and get on with supporting our club.  We can still help their cause by not buying any food or drink inside (I'll still buy a programme though).

The next thing we'll find is an almost empty stadium with the Harriers crowd out-numbering the so called 'mushrooms' who cannot see anything wrong with a dictatorial, un-caring ownership who are alienating long life fans left, right, and centre.  Any noise in there will be coming solely from those of a red persuasion and by the end there could be very few of a tangerine persuasion left to see the game out as we, hopefully, romp home winners again.

Photo © KHFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Hornby, T Palmer, Lowe, Williams, Carter, Evans, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Stambolziev, Gnahoua, Truslove, Austin, A Brown, McQuilkin, N'Gwatala, Dieseruvwe, Waite.

Blackpool from:
Slocombe, Boney, Mellor, A Taylor, McAlister, Robertson, Wilson, Aimson, Vassell, Potts, Cullen, Cameron, Nolan, Yeates, Philliskirk, Matt, Osayi-Samuel, Pugh, Daniel, Higham, Cain, Payne, Gnanduillet.

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