Date: 2nd December 2011 at 5:49pm
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Friday is always the day to run a preview of the Burton game to be played the following afternoon, but this weekend, no thanks to dirty, cheating Oldham (it still hurts?.), Burton have a fixture-free time of it and the players will mostly be putting their feet up and taking a well-earned rest. So how to fill the blank? How about a look at the FA Cup matches involving former Brewers that will be played instead.

There are a fair few games out there that involve players not fortunate enough to be wearing the yellow and black shirt any more, and one of my old favourites, Lee Fowler, should be lining up for Wrexham as they take on Brentford at Griffin Park. Brentford managed a fortuitous 1-0 home win against Blue Square South club Basingstoke in the last round and their form recently has been fairly patchy, so who`s to say how this one could end up. At a push I`ll say 2-1 to the home side.

Bradford face our opponents from last week, AFC Wimbledon, at Valley Parade and Matt Duke could well find himself back in the starting line-up this weekend if Bantams boss Phil Parkinson decides to rest Jon McLaughlin. From what I`ve seen of both sides this season I am going to go for an away win here. Not too sure about the score, so I`ll stare into my tea leaves and come up with 3-1 to the mighty Wombles.

For Jon Shaw, this weekend brings those meek little Lambs to the slaughter at the splendour of the Gateshead International Stadium. Jon has already poached himself seventeen league goals this season to add to the three he has netted in the FA Cup, so here`s hoping he can teach Tamworth some manners and end their FA Cup dreams for another season (dreams, it must be said, that extended for at least one more game than ours did). I can`t see anything other than a home win here and trying (but failing) to be fair to Tamworth, I am going for a 17-0 scoreline, with Mr Shaw bagging himself fourteen of them. Oh, ok, 3-1 to Gateshead it is then.

Cheltenham have a difficult away trip to Luton Town, but I am sure Russ Penn will be thinking of nothing else other than an away win. Luton, boasting another Brewers old boy in Paul Carden, currently find themselves in sixth place in the Blue Square Premier, just a place outside of the play-off positions, but their home form has been a little erratic and so I would have to agree that an away win seems more than likely. It could be a close one to call but my thoughts are a 2-0 win to those Cheltenham boys.

Another name cropping up in round two is that of Serge Makofo, who had a very fleeting career at Burton a couple of seasons ago. He has been with Grimsby Town since last January, having been with Kettering before then, and during his time up on the Lincolnshire coast has found himself branded a “disaster” by his chairman. Recently though he has hit some kind of form and scored the winning goal in the first round replay against Port Vale that resulted in a plum draw away to Salisbury. Both sides find themselves in the lower reaches of their respective league (Blue Square Premier for Grimsby and Blue Square South for Salisbury), so I am going for a dour draw and a replay up in Cleethorpes a week or so later. 1-1 and boredom all round.

Shrewsbury and Rotherham go head-to-head at the Greenhous Meadow, which I should point out is neither a greenhouse or a meadow, but a bleak out of town complex in the quaintly named Meole Brace area of Shrewsbury. Notwithstanding this, James Collins will be hoping to add to his goal tally for the season so far (seven in total, impressively including goals at both Pride Park and the Emirates Stadium it must be said) and will come up against a Branston-less Rotherham side. Actually, maybe it would have been better had he come up against a side including Mr Branston, but them`s the breaks and at least the Shrews have a home draw. Based purely on having seen both sides play the single game against us this season, I`m going for 2-2 here. Lewis Grabban and his beard to claw back a replay at the last minute.

Finally, former Burton loanee Robin Shroot will no doubt be hoping to make the Stevenage Borough line-up as they take on the might of Stourbridge. Stourbridge put out Plymouth Argyle after a replay at the War Memorial Athletic Ground (try saying that fast with a mouthful of chips) and reap their deserved reward with a home tie against the team who constantly fall down and need to drink lots of water during a game. Just because I detest Stevenage and the way they approach the game, I am hoping that tomorrow sees the Glassboys come out on top with a 1-0 victory.

The only other game worth mentioning is the one taking place at Roots Hall; Sarfend United against Oldham Athletic. Hopefully this time around Oldham will be on the receiving end of a referee who can spot the difference between a dive and a foul, and the might of the home team will prevail. 3-1 to the Shrimpers and my bitterness can at last begin to subside.

For those of us just watching the results on TV, may I wish you a happy weekend decorating, gardening, walking the dog or doing whatever you do to fill the meaningless hours between Burton matches.

Have a good one!

PS. I just want to add that despite the result, the day at Oldham in the first round was actually a good day out. The majority of the home fans we met were good, honest supporters who wanted to talk about all things football and Craig Dudley. I’ve had a couple of emails from Latics fans asking me why I hate them. I’m flattered they even read my articles, but I just want to say that I don’t at all and good luck to them in the league this season. As for Mr Naylor though….