Sat 09
First Team
Rotherham United

Match preview

By Jake Sapsford
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Maidenhead United vs Rotherham United: FA Cup first round, Saturday 9th November 2019, 3.00PM kick-off.

Rotherham United will travel to York Road in the FA Cup first round proper this afternoon.

Maidenhead will hope to claim an upset and reach the second round of the competition for the first time in their history.

The Millers though will provide quite a challenge, and currently sit tenth in League One with a game in hand.

Recent form

After losing at Eastleigh, the Magpies recorded a run of five games without defeat in all competitions. But, that run came to an end in midweek as they fell short with a 2-0 defeat at the Electrical Services Stadium.

Prior to that though they had recorded a recent improvement in results and performances, and that form coincided with Josh Kelly’s run of goals.

The hosts earned their chance to face League One opposition in this round for the second year running when they finally dispatched Wealdstone.

Ryan Upward’s late equaliser kept Maidenhead alive in the competition after the first tie was played at York Road, and set up an away replay a few days later.

Kelly stepped up twice to send Maidenhead through at the second time of asking, as they continued with their resurgence.

Looking forward now, and Alan Devonshire’s side will hope to claim a real upset. Win and they’d progress to the second round of the FA Cup for the first time after losing their previous ten matches at this stage.

The opposition

The Millers are mid-table in League One, and they’ll hope to extend their FA Cup run to the second round for the ninth successive year.

The club was promoted to the Sky Bet Championship in 2013-14 after they successfully beat Leyton Orient on penalties in the play-off final.

Despite narrowly surviving in their first two campaigns back in the second tier, the Millers were relegated back to League One in 2016-17 after finishing bottom.

Although in 2017-18 they secured promotion at the first time of asking, the club was once again sent back to League One last season.

With this campaign in mind, they are only two points away from a play-off spot with a lot of football to be played and a game in hand.

Paul Warne’s side have won five of their last seven matches in all competitions, and beat Gillingham 3-0 away in their last fixture. Goals from Michael Smith and a brace from Matt Crooks secured a victory at the Priestfield Stadium.

FA Cup recent history

Maidenhead have been consistent in the FA Cup in recent years, with this being the third year in succession that they’ve reached this stage. Last season they beat Chippenham Town to earn a tie against another League One side, Portsmouth. The south coast outfit comfortably dispatched them with a 4-0 win, so the Millers will want to inflict a similar fate.

For the visitors though, they have reached the second round in every year since the 2011-12 season, so will want to keep that run going.

However, they have been beaten in three of their last four games against National League opposition, with the last being against Luton Town in 2010.

Last season the Millers reached the third round, but were given the task of facing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side away from home. Despite losing 7-0, they shouldn't have felt too disheartened as it was against the eventual winners of the competition.

Final note

This cup tie will be the first ever competitive meeting between the two clubs, so come down and show your support.

Prior to the match, Dan Walker and the BBC Football Focus team will host Saturday’s edition of the programme live at York Road. Home fans will be encouraged to arrive early so that they can participate and see the famous FA Cup trophy. Arrive at 11.30am with a valid match ticket to avoid missing all the excitement.



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Match details

Match date

Sat 09, Nov 2019