Ahead of the Game - Up for the Cup

Liam Spence continues his weekly look at the next seven days at Home Park...

AFTER extending their unbeaten league run to six matches at Burton, Argyle's focus this week turns to cup football.

On Saturday, John Sheridan's men host non-leaguers AFC Fylde in a tricky looking FA Cup first-round match; before that, on Monday, the Argyle youngsters face dockyard rivals Portsmouth at Home Park in the opening round of the FA Youth Cup.

Argyle will be looking to kick-off their FA Cup campaign with victory when they meet high-flying Conference North side AFC Fylde for the first time in their history, on Saturday, November 8, at 3pm.

The Pilgrims have drawn non-league opposition in the first round twice in the last two seasons - losing to Dorchester, then beating Lincoln City after a replay. This time, John Sheridan’s men will be looking to win at the first attempt against a side who have gone from strength to strength under manager Dave Challinor. 

The 39-year-old manager, who played for Tranmere Rovers and Bury among others, joined Fylde from Colwyn Bay in 2010, and won the Evo-Stik North title in his first season – a remarkable achievement given that they were 16 points off top spot when he took charge.

He then continued that success in the 2013-14 season when he led his side to promotion through the play-offs to the Conference North, along with securing the Lancashire FA Challenge Cup and the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup in the same season.

Victory for the Greens will see them extend their unbeaten run to eight matches and will help gather further momentum going into our Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Quarter Finals match against Sky Bet League 1 Coventry City on Wednesday, November 12.

Argyle’s first-team will play Portsmouth live on Sky Sports, on November 15, but with just under two weeks until the Armed Services Day game, the young Pilgrims will lock horns with our dockyard rivals in the prestigious FA Youth Cup, on November 3.

The game, which will take place at the Theatre of Greens, will kick off at 7pm, and entry will be on sale at the gate, with tickets for adults costing £4 and £2 for concessions.

Last season Kevin Hodges' fledglings won through to the third round after defeating Bristol Academy and Colchester, before losing out in a classic match with Aston Villa at Villa Park.