Tonight marks the beginning of the journey to Wembley for two lucky League One or League Two sides as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action kicks off. Last season’s winners, Bristol City, were promoted to the Championship so won’t be defending their trophy.
This leaves Walsall, who reached Wembley for the first time in their 127 year history, as the best side from last season’s competition and they’ll be hoping for more success and the chance to build on six straight wins with tonight’s trip to Morecambe, who themselves are enjoying a good spell of form.
The draw is split into four sections at this stage, North East, North West, South East and South West. Byes have been rewarded to Bradford City, Chesterfield, Rochdale and York City in the North East section. Blackpool, Crewe Alexandra, Fleetwood and Wigan have been given byes in the North West section.
The South East section sees Crawley Town, Gillingham, Southend United Stevenage given a free pass to the second round and Bristol Rovers, Coventry City, Oxford and Wycombe Wanderers in the South West section.
The North East section hosts a real local derby in the East Midlands as Mansfield Town make the short trip to Notts County. Burton Albion could heap more misery and pressure onto Paul Dickov tonight as they travel to Doncaster Rovers.
Hartlepool United are enjoying a good start to the season in their second season in League Two and face a real test as League One’s second place side travel to Victoria Park. Two mid-table League One sides go head-to-head as Scunthorpe United welcome Lee Johnson’s Barnsley. In the North West section, Carlisle United fans travel down to Port Vale and Accrington Stanley vs Bury shows just how many glamorous ties there are in this competition.
There’s two all-League Two clashes in the South East section as Luton Town play Leyton Orient and Cambridge United welcome Dagenham and Redbridge. Meanwhile Northampton Town get to test themselves against Colchester United, the League One side currently sit in the relegation zone.
Swindon Town travel across the border into Wales in the South West section and Exeter City take on Portsmouth. Yeovil Town and Barnet, two sides struggling in League Two can take their thoughts away from league action tonight and gain confidence from a cup win tonight, something both teams will be aiming for. Plymouth Argyle will be looking to build on three straight wins with victory against an inconsistent AFC Wimbledon side.
Here are tonight’s fixtures in full.
(North East section)
Hartlepool vs Sheffield United
Doncaster Rovers vs Burton Albion
Notts County vs Mansfield Town
Scunthorpe United vs Barnsley
(North West section)
Port Vale vs Carlisle United
Shrewsbury Town vs Oldham Athletic
Accrington Stanley vs Bury
Morecambe vs Walsall
(South East section)
Luton Town vs Leyton Orient
Millwall vs Peterborough United
Northampton Town vs Colchester United
Cambridge United vs Dagenham & Redbridge
(South West section)
Yeovil Town vs Barnet
Newport County vs Swindon Town
Exeter City vs Portsmouth
AFC Wimbledon vs Plymouth Argyle