AS many of us enter the Easter holidays, the footballing calendar doesn’t take a holiday as our weekly Football Live feed returns for another week. Quays News sport reporter Jordan Davies looks at the weekend ahead…
ALTRINCHAM need a win and fast. No wins in eight had led to a slump into the National League relegation zone. The departure of Lee Sinnott reaped no immediate reward last week when the Robins went down 3-2 at Barrow. Neil Tolson’s first home match as caretaker-manager is this Saturday when Aldershot Town are the visitors with three much needed points on the agenda.
John Askey’s MACCLESFIELD TOWN are still without a win since the January 2. Their play-off hopes look all but extinguished but maybe a trip to struggling Boreham Wood could kick their season back into gear. With the sides drawing 0-0 at the Moss Rose earlier in the campaign and Macc’s last two Saturday matches also ending scoreless, one goal could prove decisive.
National League North
Liam Watson’s STALYBRIDGE CELTIC are worryingly close to the National League North trap-door. Just two wins in their last 12 and none at home since before Christmas mean if lowly Brackley Town leave Bower Fold with the points on Saturday then Celtic could be as low as 19th and really looking over the shoulders. The Northamptonshire side have won their last two on their travels and will look to extend that.
Life without Karl Ledsham begins on the road for STOCKPORT COUNTY. The popular midfielder moved to the states after last week’s win against Gloucester leaving boss Jim Gannon with a void to fill for the trip to Hednesford Town. With County picking up 13 points from the last 15 available including a 3-0 win over the Pitmen at Edgeley Park on March 1, expect an away win at Keys Park.
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER fans travelled to league leaders Solihull Moors on Tuesday night more in hope than expectation but they saw their team perform heroically and take the three points home against the odds. Another tricky away trip comes this weekend in the shape of Alfreton Town at the Impact Arena.
It’s 8th versus 9th in Lancashire as Chorley take on CURZON ASHTON. Both sides took part in the play-off finals last season. The Nash won there’s to achieve promotion to the sixth tier whilst the Magpies threw away a 2-0 lead to concede promotion to the National League to Guiseley. Now the two are on an even footing and it could go either way on Saturday.
Evo-Stik Premier Division
The vagaries of the Northern Premier League’s fixture list are many and varied. One of them is that Barwell and ASHTON UNITED cross paths for the second Saturday running. The Robins ended Barwell’s astonishing 12 game winning streak on home soil last week but the Leicestershire side will hope to extract revenge seven days on as the quest for the play-offs continues.
SALFORD CITY have been operating on a one step forward, one step back policy of late. Five of their last seven wins have been followed by a loss and their last three losses have been followed by a win. Victorious at Halesowen Town on Tuesday night, maybe they should take extra care against Sutton Coldfield Town at Moor Lane this weekend. Neil Tooth’s side are also very hit and miss with four victories and four defeats from their last eight games.
A third successive relegation is still a possibility for 18th placed HYDE UNITED. They currently have a six point buffer above the trap door but just two wins in 20 makes it a distinct possibility. Two home games in three days provides them with the chance to silence the doubters starting on Saturday when Skelmersdale United make the short trip to Ewan Fields.
Evo-Stik First Division North
DROYLSDEN ended an eight game losing streak with a thrilling 4-3 win against Brighouse Town last week. They look to get consecutive wins for the first time in three months when mid-table Bamber Bridge come calling this weekend. The Bloods propensity to concede goals is alarming though, they’re averaging 5.5 goals per game shipped in their last seven matches. Won’t be 0-0 at the Butchers Arms.
This looks like as good a time as any to play Northwich Victoria. The Vics have looked like solid promotion contenders all season long but have stalled of late only winning two of their last five. TRAFFORD are the side tasked with keeping the Vics out and they’ve won four of their last five, the only blemish coming in last week’s 2-1 loss at 4th placed Glossop North End.
Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Farsley Celtic dispelled the majority of RADCLIFFE BOROUGH’s relegation concerns. Danny Johnson, who is leaving as Boro manager at the end of the season, will take his troops north to Lancaster looking to build on Tuesday’s good work.
And finally, MOSSLEY play their fourth away game on the spin when they travel to Farsley Celtic this weekend and they’ll look to avoid a fourth straight loss. Bamber Bridge, Ossett Albion and Spennymoor Town have all sent the Lilywhites packing with their tail beneath their legs, will the Villagers add their name to the list?
By Jordan Davies