SALFORD City will look to hold onto third position when they host fourth place Darlington 1883 at Moor Lane on Saturday afternoon (KO 15:00 BST).
The Evo-Stik Premier Division fixture comes at a bad time for Salford City, as they have only managed to take seven points from the last 15 on offer. However visitors, Darlington 1883 are heading into the game in full confidence having won four and drawn one in their last five fixtures.
Managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will be seeking to carry on the momentum gained from their last game, where they beat Ramsbottom United by four clear goals. Bad weather has seen the Ammies miss two games against Halesowen Town and Workington AFC.
Conversely, fatigue may be the key to this fixture as Darlington 1883 come into this weekend with only four days rest, coming out convincing winners on Tuesday night against Matlock Town FC.
Both teams have every right to feel that it’ll be their day. Salford hung on to a two goal win against Darlo last season, although this is first time the teams will be facing each other this season, it looks set to show who the bigger promotional threat will be.
Whilst Darlington wave goodbye to David Dowson, who joins Spennymoor, ahead of the clash with the Ammies, Salford say hello to familiar face John Johnston. The wide midfielder has signed permanently from Alfreton Town after a very successful one month loan at Moor Lane.
Salford City will be without keymen Jordan Hulme – who has eleven goals already this campaign, and midfielder Gary Stopforth. But they do have a fully fit James Poole and Gareth Seddon back in action as well as the expected return of Scott Burton.
Darlington will look to be unchanged as manager Martin Gray looks to be confident with a starting eleven which he hasn’t changed since December.
Salford City FC: J Lynch, O’Halloran, Howson, C Lynch, Gumbs, Dawson, Kebbie, Smalley,Clarke, Allen, Moses, Johnston, Mwasile, Clarke, Poole, Webber.
Darlington 1883: Jameson, Hunter, Galbraith, Turnbull, Burgess, Brown, Mitchell, Portas, Scott, Gaskell, Armstrong, Cartman, Thompson, Provett, Nowakowski.
By Tyler Marriott
Don’t forget to join us from 14:00 GMT on Saturday, February 13 for our Greater Manchester non-league blog Football LIVE…