Although Workington have won five of their last six visits to the Marine Travel Arena when league points have been at stake, their replay record in the FA Cup is poor in comparison and Tuesday’s encounter at College Road will be every bit as tough as the original tie.
The winners will be rewarded with another cracking tie – away to Dunston – but there will be no thoughts of a first competitive trip to the north east for the time being.
Workington will be the first away team to play at Marine’s wonderful venue since Tottenham Hotspur played there in January with Neil Young’s side unable to play at home recently due to pitch complications.
They were due to have a 4G pitch laid in the summer but that arrangement was delayed and then cancelled until further notice. The grass pitch, usually one of the better surfaces in the NPL, had been neglected as a consequence and they have been on the road for friendlies and their first three games of the new season.
So their ‘home-coming’ will be a special occasion and a big crowd is expected to give their backing.
Reds will be under strength with some of the Development Squad preparing to travel to cover injuries.
And once the replay is out of the way, via extra time and penalties if necessary, the two sides will meet for the third time in eight days back at Borough Park on Saturday.
There was a similar situation five years ago when Reds played Matlock Town three times in eight days.
They drew in the FA Cup but then lost the Tuesday replay before losing the league match a few days later.
A repeat of that scenario doesn’t bear thinking about.
The Marine Travel Arena