SALFORD City will on Saturday attempt to win their first Vanarama National League North game in six as they take on Tamworth FC at Moor Lane (KO: 1500 GMT).
It’s been a tough few weeks for the Ammies faithful who have not only seen their side’s league form suffer (with three draws and three losses in their last six games), but they were also knocked out of the FA Cup by bitter local rivals Stockport County.
Last time out Salford hosted Boston United and they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in which Salford trailed twice before leading 3-2 until a late sucker punch from Boston striker Gregg Smith meant the spoils were shared.
Michael Nottingham, James Poole and John Johnston netted for Salford, though Richie Allen was also on the scoresheet for the wrong reason after his own-goal opened the scoring for the visitors.
Tamworth have not played a league match in 14 days, their last game being a 3-2 loss away to Gainsborough Trinity, and they too are in a rut and have not won a league game since September 9 when they thrashed Curzon Ashton 5-1.
The Lambs currently sit in 11th despite being just three points behind Salford, with a game in hand on their opponents, who are just off the play-offs in seventh.
Tamworth have conceded 24 goals in 13 league games this season, as well as shipping four against Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup second qualifying round, so they will have to put in an improved defensive performance if they are to trouble the hosts this weekend.
Though, Salford have had their own troubles in front of goal as the club’s top scorer (seven goals) Mike Phenix has been restricted to substitute appearances following the loss of his early season form.
However, Nottingham, who filled in at centre-half last week, is in fine attacking form and after adding a further goal and assist to his tally last week he now has three goals and six assists to his name.
Johnston also netted for the Ammies last week and he will be pushing for a starting spot having impressed as a substitute.
Midfielder Scott Burton and centre half Billy Priestly are also back in contention for a starting spot after serving suspensions last week.
For the visitors, former Leamington forward Danny Newton is the danger man having scored in their last league game and a brace in their last league win to make him the Lambs top scorer with seven league goals.
Attacking duo Louis Briscoe and Steve Tomassen will also be looking to cause problems for the Salford defence and to add to their combined tally of five goals.
Greg Mills will be hoping to make an impact as well, as after his summer transfer from Corby Town, for whom he was prolific for the three seasons he spent there, he has yet to really find form in a Tamworth shirt and has just one goal to his name this season.
Ammies joint-manager Bernard Morley last week said his team need to rediscover their early season form if they are to start progressing up the table, and they have a chance to do so against an out of form Tamworth side who are making their first trip ever to Moor Lane.
By Matt Bullin