RETURNING this week is the Quays fixture lowdown where we mark your card on all of this weekend’s fixtures for our non-league sides. All of these games kick-off at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon.
FA Trophy Third Round
With only one win in their last five MACCLESFIELD TOWN are experiencing something of a mid-season slump, perhaps the incentive of Wembley can pull them through when they travel to struggling Torquay United in the last 16 of the FA Trophy. The Gulls did beat Macc 1-0 on the opening game of the season but both sides have changed drastically since then.
ALTRINCHAM are sat perilously close to the relegation trap-door, two points is all that’s keeping them from above the dotted line so this weekend’s relegation six-pointer at Welling could hardly be more significant. The game will be new manager Mark Frost’s first game in charge against an Alty side with just two wins from their last 10 outings.
National League North
The big story in the National League North is the return to the home dugout of Edgeley Park for a certain Jim Gannon. The STOCKPORT COUNTY cult hero replaced Neil Young three weeks ago now but has had a long wait before his first game on home turf, which comes on Saturday against Hednesford Town. With County’s play-off hopes all-but over Gannon will just hope to put smiles back on faces at SK3.
After last week’s incredible 4-3 comeback win against Harrogate Town, FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER will hope to ride that high when they make the trip south to league leaders Solihull Moors. Moors won 1-0 at Brackley Town last week and are four points clear at the summit of the National League North but FC will take heart from Solihull’s previous result, a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of none other than Harrogate Town.
In their first ever season at this level CURZON ASHTON have exceeded all expectations currently sitting in eighth position. They make the trip east to Gainsborough Trinity looking to complete a hat-trick of away wins in a row after achieving three-point hauls at Nuneaton (1-0) and Hednesford (3-0) in January.
Liam Watson’s STALYBRIDGE CELTIC are marooned in the upper reaches of the wrong half of the table. Nine wins and 11 losses the story of their season so far really. They may have their work cut out at home to a North Ferriby United side who sit second in the standings and harbour strong hopes of promotion to the National League. Celtic did however put the Villagers out of the FA Cup on penalties this season something the Humberside club will look to avenge on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Premier League
SALFORD CITY will hope Tuesday’s 4-0 drubbing of basement dwellers Ramsbottom United will breathe new life into their season. The Ammies looked to be stalling after a run of one win in four including losing a mammoth six-pointer at Blyth Spartans but they can prove that was just a blip with success at Halesowen Town this weekend. Salford will fancy their chances against a side who are on a three-game losing streak.
ASHTON UNITED matches seem to guarantee goals of late, their last four league results read 2-5, 6-0, 2-0, 4-4. This week the Robins look to maintain their play-off place away at Frickley Athletic. Steve Halford and Paul Phillips men are much stronger on home turf and know any slip-up could let in the likes of Buxton, Stourbridge or Nantwich Town who are all within three points of United.
The dream of regaining a spot in the sixth tier has died for HYDE UNITED. Seven straight losses has led to a 19-point gap to fifth place which at this stage of the season is surely insurmountable given that they’d have to leapfrog 11 teams. A more pressing concern is ending this losing streak and given this weekend’s visitors to Ewen Fields are first placed Blyth Spartans that is much easier said than done.
Evo-Stik First Division North
Two of our sides will be facing off this weekend as RADCLIFFE BOROUGH take on TRAFFORD at Stainton Park. Borough, with just five wins all season, are fortunate that New Mills and Harrogate Railway Athletic only have three between them otherwise they’d be in real relegation peril. Four defeats in their last five and no goals in their last four are issues that need addressing against a Trafford side with little in the way of promotion hopes or relegation fears.
If you want goals head to the Butchers Arms. DROYLSDEN have both scored and conceded in each of their last 18 league games. A remarkable statistic. Expect that to continue when promotion chasing Spennymoor Town make the long trip from County Durham on Saturday looking to jump into the play-off picture.
And finally MOSSLEY AFC who sit just on the fringes of the top five in seventh place will welcome Scarborough Athletic to Seel Park on Saturday. After last season’s sixth placed finish the Seadogs would have hoped for much better than the 18th position they currently lie. Nevertheless this represents an excellent opportunity for the Lilywhites to prove their promotion credentials.
By: Jordan Davies