Match Preview: Romulus (h)

A first competitive meeting with Romulus provides Hinckley AFC’s quarter-final as they look to continue their defence of the Midland League Cup at Kirkby Road on Monday night.

After lifting the trophy last season, wins over Nuneaton Griff and Sutton United have taken Hinckley into the last eight for a second consecutive year.

And they’ll look to continue that defence further but face a tough test against Premier Division Romulus whose League Cup record also has strong pedigree.

The opposition

Roms won the trophy themselves back in 2019 and, after beating three Division One sides to reach this stage, now have a fourth standing between them and a semi-final.

Neil Tooth’s side have beaten Coventry Copsewood on penalties, Chelmsley Town and Stapenhill to get this far, the latter having cone from 2-0 down to win 4-2 in the third round.

In the league, they lie 13th in the table with 26 points from their 23 games, two points behind Whitchurch Alport, who Hinckley beat in the final last season, and five points ahead of Stone Old Alleynians, who knocked AFC out of the FA Vase earlier this season.

Their game against Wolverhampton Casuals on Saturday was postponed and a tough recent run has seen them play each of the sides between second and fifth in their previous four games, taking a point from Stourport Swifts and running Studley close in a 4-3 defeat.

From the dressing room

“We’ve watched Romulus a few times over the last few weeks, their team has changed a bit and they’ve got a few younger players in. Any team you play against from the league above will be tough, and I think there is a big gap between step six and step five of the Midland League. Neil Tooth is a good manager who’s been at a good level, he’ll do his homework on us.

“We’ll go strong because we haven’t had a game for a few weeks until Saturday, and we want to win the competition, but the league is our priority. Hopefully we’ll come through with no injuries from Saturday and we can take it onto Monday when we’re expecting a tough test.”

Courtney Hunter-Belford

Key information

The winners of the tie will face a trip to Premier Division high-flyers Highgate United in the semi-finals. The other semi-final sees Premier leaders Congleton Town host Lichfield City or Wednesfield.

Adults: £6

Concessions: £4

Under 16s: £2

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