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Match Previews

PREVIEW: FLEETWOOD TOWN (H)

19 August 2014

The Iron welcome Fleetwood Town to Glanford Park for the third match of the season.

After Simon Grayson’s Preston side brought United back down to earth, following a shock win over Blackburn in the Capital One Cup, Russ Wilcox has tried to put two opening league defeats behind his men with new additions to the squad.

Billy Kee arrived from Burton on a three-year deal, while Burnley right-back Luke O’Neill joined us on a three-month loan.

Both of our new signings will go straight into contention for the Tuesday evening 7.45pm kick-off.

Sam Slocombe is hoping to return to the goal after missing the 4-0 loss at the hands of Preston, while Marcus Williams will save the final game of his three-match suspension.

David Mirfin is still sidelined, as is long-term absence Dave Syers, who injured his knee in the season opener at Swindon.

It will be just the third meeting between the two sides, who met in Sky Bet League Two last season before we both earned promotion to the third tier.

The Glanford Park fixture came in front of the Sky Sports cameras for a 0-0 draw two-and-a-half months after the Iron won at Highbury Stadium through a Sam Winnall goal.

They have had a tremendous start, winning their first two games at an all-time high league standing. This is their first season in Sky Bet League One in their 106-year history which represents a rapid rise in recent years, where they have won promotion in six of the last ten seasons.

The opening day saw them beat Crewe 2-1 at Highbury, before taking Sky Bet Championship side Rotherham to extra-time in the Capital One Cup.

They then beat Shaun Derry’s Notts County with thanks to Jamie Proctor’s goal.

Town will be hoping star man Stephen Dobbie can recover from an injury picked up on the opening day, but it looks like the game may come too soon for the man on loan from Crystal Palace.

There will be a familiar face in the away dugout - a man who came through the academy in North Lincolnshire - Graham Alexander.

Alexander is well-known for his penalty-taking ability and appearance count- he made over 1000 professional appearances, some mean feat.

Alexander won the Player of the Year award for the Iron aged 22, making 185 appearances for the Iron, scoring 24 times in five years, from 1990 to 1995.

He swapped Lincolnshire for a four-year stint in Luton before an eight-year stay at Preston North End.

Alexander left Deepdale for Burnley’s Turf Moor before returning to Preston, four years later, for a season before hanging up his boots.

Voted by the fans as North End’s greatest ever right back, he had a stint as joint caretaker manager at the club before moving into the role as their Head of Youth Development.

After Micky Mellon was sacked by the Cod Army, Alexander was appointed as their new manager in December 2012 and he won promotion in his first full season as boss.

Record-making Fleetwood also have a record-holder in their ranks. Nathan Pond, their long serving defender, was inducted into the Guinness World Record books for appearing in the most divisions with one club since arriving at the north-western club from Lancaster City eleven years ago.

The Iron are 6/4 to win the tie, with the visitors 7/4 and a draw 23/10.

Elsewhere, Peterborough play Sheff Utd, Bristol City host Leyton Orient, Chesterfield face MK Dons while Coventry and Barnsley will meet at Sixfields.

Crawley have a tricky tie with Bradford, Crewe play Rochdale and Doncaster host our recent conquerors, Preston.

Gillingham play Swindon, Notts County host Colchester, while Oldham and Walsall host Port Vale and Yeovil respectively.

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