Forest Green Rovers make their second Tuesday-night trip to Carlisle United this season, as the two sides lock horns in an FA Cup second-round replay.
Proceedings get underway at 7.45pm, with the two sides battling it out for a trip to Cardiff City in round three.
What we said:
“I’m looking forward to it a lot. We get to go and play at a good stadium with a nice pitch, and there’s a carrot at the end with progression to the next round,” said Mark Cooper.
“I’m sure Carlisle will be the same. You want to pit your wits against bigger teams and test your players and test yourself against a team like Cardiff.
“After losing the game on Saturday. The players are desperate to put things right and win the game.”
What they said:
“We obviously learned a lot from the first time we played them (Forest Green),” said Carlisle boss Chris Beech.
“With only a short lead time between me joining the club, and taking the team away to that game, I was absolutely delighted with the way the players responded to what was a busy and hectic week.
“Whilst I was pleased with the performance, particularly the goals we scored, I was disappointed we didn’t win it. To score two goals against one of the best teams in our division away from home shows me what our players can achieve.”
Rovers will be hoping Joseph Mills has recovered from his illness, which saw him miss out on Saturday’s defeat.
Having missed the last outing, Harry McKirdy, Jack Iredale and Jack Bridge are all doubtful.
It was a successful season for United in 2018/19, as they finished just a little short of the top seven. Having started the campaign well, Carlisle lay the foundation for their real push in the middle of the season, and a run of eight wins from nine in League Two, which saw them close in on the division’s heavy hitters.
However, a sticky final few months of the campaign saw them slip to a position they couldn’t quite recover from, despite important wins against promoted Lincoln City and Bury late on.
Ready to kick-on from their late push last time out, Carlisle would have had high hopes going into the 2019/20 season. However, a slow start to the season, and no back-to back wins thus far, has seen the divisions most northerly side struggling at the south-end of the table.
A win on opening day proved to be their only one in the first five, before one draw and five losses in October – and a tough start to November - saw the club part ways with manager Steven Pressley after 10 months in charge.
Former Rochdale assistant manager Chris Beech was appointed to the role of head coach on ahead of the FA Cup meeting between Rovers and Carlisle, and has drawn both of his games so far.
Should he be fit, Harry McKirdy will once again prove dangerous to Rovers.
Carrying on from his form from earlier in the season, midfielder McKirdy has been the standout man, finding the back of the net on seven occasions and claiming the assist on a further five.
The former Aton Villa attacking midfielder spent the second half of last season at Newport County before signing a one-year deal with Carlisle, two goals and an assist coming in the last round of the FA Cup against Dulwich Hamlet.
Last time we met:
The breakthrough came from a mistake for the visitors in the 11th minute. Liam Shephard's ball in from the right was headed high by a Carlisle head, but as keeper Collin dropped the ball onto the bar under pressure, Collins was there to nod home from two yards.
Forest Green had found their swagger now and in the 15th minute were cutting the visitors apart again, Ebou Adams splitting the defence with a ball in behind for Dom Bernard to run onto.
He cut back for Shephard to deliver, Stevens’ header going just wide of the target.
In the 35th minute, FGR were presented with a great opportunity to double their advantage and take a big step towards the third round.
Aitchison was played into acres of space, running at the box, before squaring to Shephard, whose shot, one-on-one, was saved onto the bar by Collin, making up for his earlier mistake with a fine stop, and hurried clear by Hayden.
Carlilse found a route back into the game in the 40th minute when confusion at the back saw Iredale steal the ball and set away from Nathan Thomas, who went down the left and cut back on the edge of the box before curling the ball past Joe Wollacott off the bar.
Forest Green looked for the immediate response two minutes later, Shephard getting down the right, before putting in a good, low ball in that Collin could only push into the area, but Collins, coming in, could only connect with thin air and the chance went begging.
A minute into first-half added time and Stevens thought he had restored the lead for the hosts.
The striker jumped highest to meet a corner but his header was cleared off the line by Thomas on the post.
Rovers were left with everything to do in the 76th minute when substitute Hallam Hope got down the right and crossed low to the back post for Thomas, coming in to finish first time into the far corner.
It turned out to be a momentary lead for the Cumbrians, Gethin Jones turning into his own net after Joseph Mills' free-kick in from the left was met by Kitching, the Carlisle defender's touch looping into his own net.
Things hang fairly well in the balance between the two sides, Carlisle having won three meetings while Rovers have won two.
With both games so far this season seeing no winner, there have now been three draws between the two clubs.
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