FA Cup preview: Hot-shot Tony Gray puts AFC Telford on red alert
AFC Telford United know all about Warrington Town’s main man.
Tony Gray has been leading the line for the Yellows, who the Bucks travel to in the FA Cup third qualifying round tomorrow.
And the former Telford hot-shot should not be given much space to operate in.
Back in 2013, the Bucks paid a significant fee of around £9,000 to Chester for Gray.
He went on to score six goals as Liam Watson’s side won promotion to the National League in the 2013/14 campaign.
Gray then chipped in with 18 as Telford ended up getting relegated back to National League North – before moving on to Welsh Premier outfit Airbus UK Broughton where he reached double figures in both of his seasons, and then Warrington.
He has scored four goals in three Cup games for the Yellows this term.
He grabbed a brace in their 4-0 first qualifying round victory over Burscough.
He also scored in their 3-3 draw with Consett and the 2-0 replay triumph.
Quite simply, the 34-year-old knows where the net is – getting three in the league for Warrington, who sit top of the Northern Premier, as well.
But he is not the only one who could cause the Bucks problems.
Bohan Dixon, who scored against Telford for Stockport last season, is now with the Yellows, too.
Gavin Cowan and his side, though, while wary of the quality the hosts possess, are focusing on themselves first and foremost.
The aim for them is to get their away form back on track after suffering defeats at Darlington and Blyth Spartans over the past few weeks.
And, as a result, secure progress to the final qualifying round and a cool £15,000 in prize money.
Matching last term’s feat in the competition – making it to the first round proper – is the target for the current crop, if not exceeding it.
Opponents Warrington are no strangers to an upset, though.
In 2014/15, they beat Exeter in the first round proper – in their first-ever appearance at that stage of the competition – before bowing out at the hands of Gateshead in the second round.
The Yellows did not let a 100-place gap between themselves and Exeter deter them as they won 1-0, with the match on live TV on a Friday night.
Craig Robinson headed in the winner on seven minutes at Cantilever Park.
That was arguably the greatest night in the club’s history and they will be desperate to get past the Bucks and create similar memories this time around.
John McAtee could be included by Telford after his parent club Shrewsbury Town granted them permission to play him in the Cup.
Young left-back Callum Cockerill-Mollett, who is on loan from Walsall, did not play in the last round though at the request of the Saddlers and is expected to be left out again tomorrow.
Striker Amari Morgan-Smith returned from a knee injury at Blyth last weekend as a substitute and should play a part again.
Left-back Steph Morley, who has long been dealing with a calf problem, remains a doubt.