FC United of Manchester face a tricky National League North tie when they host high-flying AFC Fylde at Broadhurst Park on Saturday (KO: 15.00GMT).

Currently three points above the relegation zone, Karl Marginson’s side will hope to cause a shock and create further space between themselves and the bottom three as the season approaches boiling point.

Last week’s 0-0 draw with Worcester City was United’s second game without defeat, but they lost four in a row before that and are far from out of danger yet in 17th place.

Still without suspended Luke Ashworth, the Rebels will have a tough task on their hands to improve on their league position this weekend against a side who are battling for ground at the other end of the table.

Last year’s play-off semi-finalists triumphed 4-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and are on course to go one better than they did last year and win promotion.

They will rise to second in the table should they better Harrogate Town’s result over Telford, but The Coasters will have little recovery time having faced Corby Town on Tuesday night in a match they won 2-1.

Not all went their way however, as Richie Baker and Bohan Dixon picked up suspensions that rule themselves out of the weekend’s clash, and manager Dave Challinor fears a lack of discipline could cost them promotion.

He told the club’s official website, “Our lack of discipline at times is very disappointing and the penny needs to drop sooner rather than later.

“We ended up with five bookings without making a tackle in the game. I can’t afford to have players missing and I won’t tolerate cheap yellow cards.

“We had to win and we are pleased to do that but there are implications and I hope they don’t cost us come the end of the season.”

Dion Lloyd and Danny Charles could come in to replace the duo, and if so, their service to top goalscorer Danny Rowe will be crucial to their side’s success.

The 26-year-old’s midweek double saw him rack up 30 goals for the season in all competitions, with 17 of them in the league – equalled only by Boston United’s Dayle Southwell.

He will fancy his chances against a host defence that has leaked 65 goals already this season – the second highest in the league – but United will be buoyed by a rise in form and home support in what sets up to be an interesting contest.

Provisional squads:

FC United: Carnell, Brownhill, Chantler, Kay, Eckersley, Brown, Wolfenden, Winter, Greaves, Thomson, Daniels, Madeley, Sheridan, Thurston, Forth, Wright.

AFC Fylde: Urwin, Hughes, Langley, Hannigan, Summer, Barnes, Hughes, Hardy, Rowe, Hinchcliffe, Crainey, Lloyd, Charles, Blinkhorn

By Ashley Thornton-Jones

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