Hinckley AFC continue their defence of the Midland League Cup with a local derby away to Nuneaton Griff in the third round of the competition on Wednesday evening.
After winning the tournament with a memorable final win at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium last season, AFC kicked off their defence of the trophy by beating Sutton United 6-0 in round two.
Their reward for that is a third round trip to the Pingles Stadium to face a Nuneaton Griff side under the new management of a familiar face.
Arron Cheshire was a coach at Hinckley this time last week, but took up the managerial reins at the Pingles after the departure of Mitchell Thomson for Atherstone Town.
He took charge of his first competitive game, a 1-0 loss to Dunlop in the Coventry Charity Cup, on Saturday and will be in the dugout for his first home game against the team he joined them from.
Whilst Griff are without a win in five in all competitions, they picked up an impressive 1-1 draw at Droitwich Spa in that run and reached this stage of the League Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win over Paget Rangers.
Sam Belcher, a former Hinckley favourite and ex-Griff manager, has returned in a playing capacity recently while they also have ex-Hinckley man Danny Harris in their ranks.
Only two players in the entire Division One have more goals this season than Nathan McGarrity’s 13 while Archie Gallagher and another former Hinckley player, Lewis Commins, have five each.
AFC won the corresponding league fixture 2-1 back in August, seeing the game out with 10 men after going 2-0 up in the first half courtesy of Jack Edwards and Harry Walker-Donovan.
Four of Hinckley’s last five trips to the Pingles have been won by that same narrow margin, the other a 0-0 draw last season.
The winners of the tie will progress to the quarter-finals and will be one of at least two Division One sides guaranteed into the last eight. The match will be decided by a penalty shoot-out if it ends level after 90 minutes.
Nuneaton Griff play at The Pingles Stadium, Avenue Road, Nuneaton, CV11 4LX.
The full third round draw is:
- Atherstone Town v Lichfield City
- Highgate United v Droitwich Spa
- Nuneaton Griff v Hinckley AFC
- Shifnal Town v AFC Bridgnorth
- Stapenhill v Romulus
- Tividale 4-0 Bewdley Town
- Whitchurch Alport v Congleton Town
- Wolves Sporting v Wednesfield