It is the turn of the npower League 1 clubs this evening as the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Area Final takes place. Chesterfield take on Oldham Athletic with a place against either Barnet or Swindon Town at Wembley at stake. The Southern Section semi-final is delicately poised after a 1-1 draw at Underhill in the first leg last week and tonight's game at the b2net Stadium promises to be just as tight an affair.
The two sides drew 1-1 in the corresponding league match two weeks ago but the Latics' 5-2 win at Boundary Park earlier in the season perhaps gives them an edge against a Spireites side without cup-tied defenders Neal Trotman and Liam Ridehalgh
Chesterfield boss John Sheridan faces his former club, having played over 150 games for the Latics and guided them to the Play-Offs as manager, and sees tonight's game as a way of rewarding the Spireites' fans
Sheridan told The Star: "No matter what game we play, I'm going to try and win it. It's a massive game for us and I'm going to try my best to get us to Wembley. The fans deserve something to cheer about and we'll be doing our best to get a positive result in the first leg."
Chesterfield have struggled since winning promotion last season and are currently propping up the division, but Sheridan remains confident and is looking to bring in new faces to boost their survival chances:
"I'm trying to bring one or two more players in," Sheridan continued. "We need to fill in one or two positions, try and work hard, push on and try and get the results we need to get out of the position we're in."
Meanwhile Oldham's Robbie Simpson is desperate to erase the memory of last season's final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The 26-year-old was ruled out of Brentford's match against Carlisle through an ankle injury having played a starring role in helping the Bees reach Wembley. Simpson had even booked a hospitality box at Wembley so his family could savour his big day.
He told www.oldhamathletic.co.uk: "To get the injury so close to the game was devastating both for me and my family. They still had a great day out and hopefully I plan to give them another good day out, but with me playing on the pitch this time. It was a great experience last year, but gutting to miss out on the final through injury.
"Hopefully it won't happen again this time, though first we have a big couple of games against Chesterfield which we know will be tough.Though we have played them twice and, though they came out in our favour, they were tougher games than the scorelines suggested.
"Chesterfield may be bottom in League 1, but I think they are in a false position and better than that. League form goes out of the window and they will see it as a nice break away from their troubles in the league and these games can kick start their season and the chance to get to Wembley.
"If we play to our potential, however, they should not be a match for us."
This game was postponed on Tuesday night due to a frozen pitch and rearranged for tonight. All match tickets for Tuesday will be valid tonight. Refunds are available for supporters not able to make the revised date.