FC United of Manchester will be hoping to move further clear of the National League North relegation zone by beating Alfreton Town at Broadhurst Park on Saturday (KO 15:00 GMT).

The Rebels have been on a steady upward curve since climbing out of the bottom three in December and are now six points clear of danger in 15th.

But they suffered a blow in Shropshire on Tuesday night following a 5-1 defeat away to relegation-threatened Telford United.

Alfreton, meanwhile, could move up two places to seventh if they secure a fourth straight away win but are currently 12 points adrift of the play-offs.

Nicky Law’s men have not played since the first day of the month when recording a 2-0 win over Curzon Ashton at the Tameside Stadium after having two games postponed.

The Derbyshire outfit, who were relegated from the Conference Premier last season, are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions since a 1-0 home defeat by Bradford Park Avenue on December 19.

FC, in their debut campaign in the sixth tier of English football, have fared better on home soil in recent weeks having won just one of their last six on the road.

However, Karl Marginson’s side are seeking a fourth straight victory in Moston after beating Bradford Park Avenue, Lowestoft and Harrogate – scoring 12 goals in the process.

Their last outing at Broadhurst Park, which has averaged attendances of 4,300 this season, was particularly eventful after the Rebels came from 3-0 down to secure a memorable 4-3 success over Harrogate Town.

Three points this weekend could see the Rebels climb above local rivals Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport County as they chase a fourth win in seven matches so far in 2016.

Five points and six points separate the two teams ahead of their first ever meeting, with the return fixture at North Street scheduled for March 19.

FC will be looking to 10-goal top scorer Sam Madeley to add to his tally as the former Salford City striker’s suspension will not come in to effect on Saturday after being sent off at Telford as a makeshift goalkeeper for conceding a penalty.

Alfreton’s top marksman Sam Jones has 14 to his name so far, including nine in the league, but the Reds lost attacking ammunition last week in the shape of former Sheffield United striker Joe Ironside, who was released by mutual consent.

With the exception of long-term injury victim Brad McGowan, they have a fully fit squad to choose from, including former Hull City and Northampton goalkeeper Matt Duke in their ranks.

The 38-year-old, who was sent off for Bradford in the 2013 League Cup final defeat against Swansea, has been a regular between the sticks this season.

FC have signed goalkeeper Dylan Forth on a dual registration deal with Witton Albion after number one Dave Carnell came off with a groin strain after 27 minutes in midweek before being replaced by Madeley and then Luke Ashworth.

Provisional Squads:

FC United of Manchester:  Forth (GK), Carnell (GK), Brownhill, Chantler, Kay, Lacy, Cheetham, Thurston, Brown, Ashworth, Sheridan, Thomson, Winter, Eckersley, Lindfield, Greaves (c), Daniels, Madeley.

Alfreton Town:  Duke (GK), Moyo, Jordan, Allan, Bradley (c), Wilson, Leesley, Berry, Nyoni, Meikle, Heaton, Galinski, Jones, Jackson, Robertson, Smith, Thanoj.

By: Adam Higgins

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