FA Cup legends Hereford can push Fleetwood all the way
Penalties could be needed
FA Cup second-round replay
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Thursday
Hereford FC have made remarkable progress since rising from the ashes of the defunct Hereford United and are aiming to achieve their greatest result by defeating Fleetwood – a club four divisions above them – in an FA Cup second-round replay.
The most iconic moment in Hereford United's history came just under 46 years ago when Ronnie Radford's long-range screamer levelled the scores at home to Division One Newcastle in an FA Cup third round replay in 1972. The non-leaguers went on to win 2-1 with Ricky George's extra-time goal.
Then, as now, the action took place at Edgar Street and there was a four-division gap between the teams.
Beating Fleetwood would not come close to eclipsing Radford's place in the history books but it would mark another substantial step forward in the phoenix club's short history - they were founded in December 2014.
With the winners guaranteed a high-profile third-round clash at home to Leicester, it would generate plenty of additional income.
As a recent non-league club Fleetwood should be aware of how motivated their opponents will be.
But the Sky Bet League One outfit played poorly in the first match at Highbury and could have no complaints with the 1-1 score after just shading the shot count 13 to 11.
Fleetwood were long odds-on to win the first game and are odds-on to win the replay without need for extra-time.
However, they have been going through a rough patch in the league, failing to win in six matches, and manager Uwe Rosler has been talking of the need to reinforce his squad in January.
Injuries have not helped the situation and their recent poor run has coincided with the absences of key forward Conor McAleny and midfielder Bobby Grant, who have been sidelined since the end of October.
With that important pair still crocked, Fleetwood are not going to be any stronger than they were before the first encounter and Hereford are continuing to impress in the Southern Premier as they push for a third successive promotion.
Peter Beadle's side are fifth in their division but have five games in hand on leaders King's Lynn, who are nine points above them.
There will be a fixture pile-up to contend with later in the season but the club are clearly heading in the right direction.
Setting up a third-round tie against Leicester would be another huge distraction from their league games but Hereford will do all they can to get the job done.
It could be a close-run thing and it may take extra-time and possibly a shootout to sort out the winner.
1pt 3-1 bet365, Betway
Eliot Richards and Cameron Pring are cup-tied. Mike McGrath and Tyrone Duffus are injury doubts.
Conor McAleny (ankle) and Bobby Grant (knee) have been absent for six weeks and are unlikely to feature. Kyle Dempsey (concussion) is also set to miss out and Aiden O'Neill is an injury doubt.
Hereford are unbeaten in their last 12 matches.
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