FC United of Manchester will hope to recover from the heaviest defeat in their history when they welcome North Ferriby United on Saturday (KO 15:00 GMT).

The Rebels lost 5-0 at promotion-chasing Harrogate Town last weekend in the National League North, the biggest loss since their formation in 2005.

After the game, in which Harrogate played 50 minutes with 10 men, boss Karl Marginson admitted this is his toughest period in management.

FC’s last win was the dramatic 4-3 triumph over Harrogate at the end of January, in which they came back from being 3-0 down at half-time.

But the Moston-based outfit have since lost four in a row and lie 18th in the table, two places and four points above the bottom three.

It promises to be just as tough this weekend against a North Ferriby side firmly on track for a first-ever promotion to non-league’s top tier.

Billy Heath’s side are currently third, four points behind second-placed Harrogate and eight adrift of leaders Solihull Moors, and the joint-highest scorers in the division with 58 goals.

It is almost a year since the village club from east Yorkshire beat National League side Wrexham on penalties at Wembley to lift the FA Trophy, the biggest success in their 82-year history.

The Villagers have won half of their 30 league games this term but are struggling themselves of late, having failed to win any of their last four, taking just two points in the process.

Their only goal during this run was a penalty from 15-goal top scorer Liam King and they were held to a goalless draw last weekend at home by 10-man Curzon Ashton, who also missed a spotkick, despite dominating the game.

FC United won’t have fond memories of their trip to Grange Lane back in October when a host of missed chances went begging before goalkeeper Dave Carnell’s clearance cannoned in off Danny Clarke in stoppage time to hand North Ferriby a 1-0 win.

FC United's Broadhurst Park stadium
Attendance: FC United have had an average of 3,286 fans at home games so far in their first season at Broadhurst Park

The Rebels, in their first season in the sixth tier, had gone four unbeaten at Broadhurst Park before Alfreton Town came from behind to earn a 3-1 victory a fortnight ago.

They will hope to keep North Ferriby quiet on their first ever visit to the 4,400-capacity stadium and help ease any worries of being sucked back in to the relegation zone.

The visitors, meanwhile, will be desperate for a first league win since a 2-1 success over Brackley on January 23 in their bid to go one better than 2013-14 – when they finished second in their debut season at this level but lost to Guiseley in the play-off semi-finals.

Luke Ashworth is set to return for FC after sitting out the defeat at Wetherby Road through suspension, following his red card against Alfreton in the last home game.

Provisional Squads:

FC United of Manchester:  Forth (GK), Brownhill, Thurston, Daniels, Winter, Smyth, Eckersley, Ashworth, Kay, Thomson, Brown, Madeley, Wright (c), Lacy, Chantler, Wolfenden, Greaves.

North Ferriby United:  Nicklin (GK), Middleton, Wilde, King (c), Palmer, Hone, Clarke, Fry, Bolder, Denton, Emerton, Brooksby, Kendall, Hotte, Bateson, Topliss, Hotte, Gray.

By Adam Higgins

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