Fergy's Posh to test Championship target

Last updated : 04 January 2008 By Gary Moss
It is FA Cup action this weekend as six League Two sides try their hand against opposition from higher flights.

The draw has been far from kind for the divisions lucky few who will come up against sidees from either the Championship or League One away from home.
All L2 sides hit the road in the cup

None have been given home advantage while none have been rewarded with the chance of a massive scalp againts any of the top flight big guns.

But what this weekend's cup action does provide is an opportunity to either test out their promotion ambitions or a welcome distraction from dismal league form.

Dagenham, Barnet, Bury and Mansfield have all struggled at the wrong end of the league ladder this term and a break from the norm gives these sides the chance to gives confidence a massive lift as they prepare to endure an end of season fighting the drop.

As for Peterborough and Hereford, these teams are embroiled in a bid for promotion. This Saturday gives an ideal opportunity to test their hopes of playing at a higher level.

Posh have spent big this summer and have arguably filled their squad with players capable of mixing it in the Champiosnhip. These claims will be tested with a trip to Colcehster.

While Hereford have been on fire so far this season and have already dispatched of League One giants Leeds United on route to the last 64.

Tranmere Rovers is their next port of call as they seek further advancement.

As for League Two, there are seven fixtures where vital points can again be won or lost.

Notts are in league action after failing to beat off minnows Havant & Waterlooville in the previous round. But the Magpies will be glad of the chance to pick up league points given their current predicament.

Game of the day: Colchester v Peterborough

NCM's game of the day comes from the FA Cup this weekend as high flying
McLean...Top scorer in League Two
Posh will fancy their chances of a shock against struggling Championship minnows Colchester at Layer Road.

Darren Ferguson's men were hot favourite's for the League Two crown at the start of the campaign after spending big in pre-seasoin but recent slip-up's against Mansfield and Morecambe leaves them in a surprising fifth spot.

What hasn't been so surprising has been United's ability to score goals at will in the fourth tier.

Front man Aaron McLean tops the division's scoring charts with 16 to his name already.

Craig Mackail-Smith isn't far behind as the Posh have wracked up more home goals than any other side so far this term.

They may fancy their chances against a Colchester outfit who have really suffered from second season syndrome in the Championship this time around.

The U's missed out on the playoffs to the top flight marginally last season but have struggled to replicate their impressive form and find themselves second bottom.
Platt...Enjoying life in the Championship

Despite a slow start, former Legaue Two man and MK Dons striker Clive Platt has adapted well to the change - netting seven times already in the league.

Kevin Lisbie and Mark Yeates have both been in the goals with eight while winger Johnny Jackson is often the provider.

It has been at the back where Colchester have had most problems - conceding 55 goals already. A figure which may just give the League Two boys a glimmer.

NCM Prediction: This game should have goals and Posh may do enough to earn a replay

Elsewhere in the cup....

Bury make the trip to a resurgent Championship Norwich side.

The Shakers cant't buy a win in the league with
Roeder...On a run with Norwich
just one point from a possible 18 in recent weeks.

While Glenn Roeder has led the Canaries to an upturn in fortunes.

The yellows are a point ahead of trouble after a run of seven unbeaten.

Hereford travel to League One playoff hopefuls Tranmere boosted by the contract extensions of Sam Gwynne, Jordan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Palmer.

Rovers sit ninth but boast a strong record on home soil losing just three in 12 this season.

Elsewhere in League Two....

MK Dons are at Rotherham looking to boost their title credentials once more.

Ince's side have an eight point lead at the top but with Hereford out of action could stretch it to 11.

Manager of the month Ince will be in buoyant mood.
McIntyre...New Shrews acquisition

And, Shrewsbury may have been banking on a home win against Brentford a month ago to further their playoff push but a recent string of results for the Bees could make them favourites.

Gary Peters has delved into the transfer market this week to sign former Macclesfield man Kevin McIntyre.

Full fixture list:

FA Cup

Southend United v Dagenham & Redbridge

Swindon Town v Barnet

Tranmere Rovers v Hereford United

Norwich City v Barnet

Brighton & Hove Albion v Mansfield Town

Colchester United v Peterborough United

League Two

Accrington Stanley v Chester City

Chesterfield v Grimsby Town

Macclesfield Town v Morecambe

Notts County v Stockport County

Rochdale v Lincoln City

Rotherham United v MK Dons

Shrewsbury Town v Brentford