ALFRETON Town manager Nicky Law heaped praise on his battle weary troops after they had won through to the FACup first round on Tuesday evening by winning at Lincoln City.
The Reds came from behind to win the fourth qualifying round replay 2-1 at Sincil Bank but Law’s options for both games were severely hampered by injuries, suspension and unavailability which decimated his squad for both games.
For last Saturday’s home tie with the Imps at the Impact Arena, Law had ten players unavailable and seven on Tuesday for the replay.
But the players who came in dug out a tremendous win, a first in ten games in all competitions and only a second one on the road this season.
Law said: “We haven’t been blessed with one of the bigger squads, but any squad would struggle with the decimation of injuries and suspensions and unavailability we have had.
“I have never known it so bad anywhere I have been, that is how it is at the moment though.
“But credit to our lads, it was a great show of character. We went out and showed resilience and ground the result out. The key factor was that we had to stick together. There is only us who can turn things around.
“We keep preaching to the players about standards and discipline and togetherness.
“The result speaks volumes for the lads we have got at the club and everyone is pulling in the right direction. Hopefully we can kick on from that now in the league.
“It is so easy to go the other way when things are not going for you, but there is a real togetherness in the club shining through and that showed at the end when the players went over and thanked the fans who were brilliant and vice versa.
“I would rather it have been three league points, but we will see where the cup takes us.”
The reward for Alfreton is a first round proper home game against npower League One side Carlisle United who are currently ninth in the table.
That tie takes place on Saturday, November 12 with a 3pm kick-off at the Impact Arena.
Before that, the Reds go to Forest Green Rovers in Blue Square Bet Premier Division action this Saturday and it is a game which gives the Reds the chance to show how far they have come since a 6-1 home humbling by the Gloucestershire side in the third game of the season.
Law added: “They will be mindful of us wanting revenge, if that is the right word. We will be able to see how far we have come, if we have improved or not. Hopefully we can go there and give a better account of ourselves.”
ATFC Supporters Association transport for the game departs at 9.15am and seats can be booked by contacting Mark Thorpe on 01773 836251.
For the trip to the New Lawn, manager Law will welcome back striker Nathan Arnold after three months out with a broken foot and Luke Potter who missed the midweek game at Lincoln with a minor knee injury.
He will be missing Leigh Franks who damaged a hamstring on Tuesday evening.
Adie Hawes will be out for between a month and six weeks after sustaining an infected knee.
The loan spells of Joe Day, James Ellison and Lee Stevenson all expire after this Saturday’s game.
The Carlisle United cup game has been named as one of the highlight games to be shown on ITV1 on the Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Josh Law has been named in the contingency squad for England C team’s friendly in Gibraltar on Tuesday, November 15.