CURZON Ashton will be hoping to carry on their recent upturn in form as they host Stockport County in a National League North clash at the Tameside Stadium on Saturday afternoon (KO 15.00 BST).
The Nash come into this game on the back of three consecutive home league wins and will no doubt be looking to make it four when County visit.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for last season’s Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off winners since their first ever promotion to the sixth-tier though.
John Flanagan’s men took eight games to post a first win on the board and those aforementioned three home wins remain their only victories of the season so far.
But having disposed of nine-man Lowestoft Town last weekend – scoring four goals in the process – they will be full of confidence ahead of this eagerly-awaited fixture.
Their visitors from Cheshire will be in pretty bullish mood themselves, as they have the best away record in the division, only losing once in six games on the road.
The Hatters, who are currently fourth in the table, will come into their first ever competitive fixture against Curzon following a two-week break from competitive action and are unbeaten in five of their last six games.
Manager Neil Young let a trio of players leave Edgeley Park earlier this week, and has been extremely active in trying to bring some reinforcements into the club.
So far the former Chester boss has managed to recruit one new player with Blackburn Rovers U21 winger Mo Cham joining the Hatters on a month’s youth loan – more are expected to follow next week.
Both teams have injury worries ahead of this Greater Manchester derby.
Curzon were without midfielder Ben Atkinson, as well as forwards Gary Burnett and Ryan Brooke last weekend, and it remains to be seen if they will recover in time for Saturday.
County were missing Matty Hamilton and Jake Kirby in their 1-0 victory at Gainsborough last time out, but will be hoping the fortnight break will be sufficiently beneficial in allowing the two loanees time to recover.
Lamin Colley will return from his ban but Karl Ledsham, Glenn Rule and Abs Baggie will all be missing through suspension for the Hatters.
Goalkeeper Ian Ormson is expected to keep his place in the Stockport side, following his surprise inclusion against Gainsborough. Ormson rewarded his manager – who cited his excellent distribution skills as the reason for him starting – with a clean sheet.
Curzon Ashton: Burton (GK), Mason, Eckersley, Flynn, Frost, Shaw, Hampson, Hunt, Woodford, Atkinson, Brown, Charmey, Crothers, Guest, Gyimah, Lakeland, Payne, Rowney, A Watson, R Watson, Burnett, Coley, Noar, Cummins, Brooke, Warburton, Wright.
Stockport County: Ormson, Hurst, Morton, Ellison, Connolly, O’Hanlon, Roberts, Kirby, Hamilton, Joyce, Montrose, Garvin, Robinson, Evans, Odejayi, Colley, Cham.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria)
Assistants: Joseph Goodwin and James Price
By Joe Canavan