AFTER three postponements in eight days, Alfreton Town will be hoping it is a case of fourth time lucky with a return to action on Tuesday evening with the outstanding FA Carlsberg Trophy third round tie at fellow Blue Square Bet Premier Division side Gateshead.
It is a fixture which has already been postponed twice and neither side has seen any action since the tie should have first been played on 4th February.
Both sides have been battling at opposite ends of the table in the Conference Premier, but they will now be competing for a £7,000 pot of prize money as well as a place in the last eight of the competition where an away tie at Luton Town lies in wait.
Nicky Law’s task will be made slightly harder for this tie with a number of injuries and suspensions to deal with.
Goalkeeper Joe Day is still out through injury whilst defender Leigh Franks will be absent after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring problem picked up against Luton Town last weekend.
The Reds will also be missing Adam Quinn who serves the second of a two-game ban which has dragged on thanks to the recent spell of inactivity.
Striker Louis Moult has also returned to Stoke City after his loan spell at the Impact Arena ended on Sunday.
Gateshead manager Ian Bogie similarly has a number of players unavailable for his team’s third-round tie against the Reds.
Promotion hopefuls Gateshead sit eighth in the table and are only two points off the all-important play-offs after taking 10 points from their last six games.
The Tynesiders will be hoping to make the last eight first time of asking, having been held to a replay in the second-round against Braintree Town.
Bogie’s side drew 2-2 with Braintree Town, and drew again 1-1 in the replay in which went all the way to the wire, ending 4-3 on penalties to Gateshead.
The Reds have been in sublime form in the FA Trophy so far, recording a 4-0 victory against Southport in the first-round and thrashing Weymouth in a 6-0 victory away from home in the second-round.
The sides have already met twice this season with Gateshead winning the first encounter 2-0 at the International Stadium and the second game finished in a 1-1 draw at the Impact Arena.