With a lot of eyes fixed on the Manchester Derby on Sunday, it is easy to forget the whole host of non-league sides in action this weekend.
But not here, as MM previews another exciting weekend of action in the lower tiers of the football pyramid.
Blue Square Bet Premier Division
Woking v Stockport County
Stockport County travel to Woking’s Kingfield Stadium looking to end a run of three straight league defeats.
Jim Gannon’s side went down 4-3 against Southport last weekend, with a last-gasp Danny Rowe own goal meaning the Hatter’s went home empty-handed.
They had come from 3-0 down through Paul Turnbull, Andy Halls and top scorer Danny Hattersley who scored to bring his tally to eight for the season.
County sit 18th in the Blue Square Bet Premier table with 24 points but have only won two out of ten games on the road this season.
Woking lost 7-0 to Hyde last weekend, and have the league’s worst defence having conceded 49 goals in 22 games, but did win 2-0 against Lincoln City in midweek.
The Cardinals are the league’s second top scorers behind leaders Newport County, and attackers Bradley Bubb and Kevin Betsy have 19 goals between them.
Woking are 14th in the league, with 26 points and eight wins from 22 games, and came out victorious when the sides last met in September, winning 2-1 at Edgeley Park.
Hyde v AFC Telford United
Hyde host AFC Telford at Ewen Fields looking to build on a run of form that has seen them win three of the last six.
The Tiger’s beat Woking 7-0 last weekend, and Phil Jevons bagged four to become the league’s joint top goal-scorer, while David Poole, Scott Spencer and Matty Harris were also on target.
They suffered a set-back in midweek though, losing 3-2 to Macclesfield Town after racing into a 2-0 lead, with Jevons again on target alongside Alex Brown.
That result left Hyde in 20th position after 21 games, with 23 points, two points behind their visitors for this clash who sit five places above them.
Telford drew 1-1 with Barrow in midweek, one of ten draws for Andy Sinton’s side so far this season, while striker Steve Jones has seven goals for The Bucks so far this campaign.
Wins for either side will propel them up the table, as only ten points currently separate Macclesfield in seventh and bottom club Braintree in 24th.
Blue Square Bet North
Altrincham v Gainsborough Trinity
Altrincham welcome Gainsborough Trinity to Moss Lane looking to continue their free-scoring form.
Alty defeated Boston United 3-2 last weekend, with goals from Nicky Clee and two from hot-shot Damian Reeves enough to secure the win.
Reeves now has 23 goals so far this season, including 18 in the league, as he looks to emulate last season’s haul off 44 in all competitions.
When the sides met earlier in the season, Reeves bagged all four goals in a 4-2 win for Alty, with all of his strikes coming in the first half of that encounter.
Lee Sinnott’s side have only been outscored by the league’s top two clubs, and he is boosted by the news this week that son Jordon has joined on loan from Huddersfield until mid-January.
Alty are currently ninth in the table with 23 points, while their visitors sit one place and three points ahead having played a game more.
Dominic Knowles is top-scorer for Trinity with nine goals, in a side that lost just four league ties so far this campaign.
Droylsden v Bishops Stortford
Droylsden host Bishops Stortford as they look to climb out of the BSB North relegation zone.
The Bloods drew 2-2 at Oxford City last weekend thanks to goals from Andy Palmer and Nathanial Kerr and have won just once in their last seven outings.
They have three wins from 16 games so far this season, and just 12 points, three less than their visitors this weekend.
Stortford have won four of 14 games this season and their tally of 15 points leaves them in 19th place, three points and one place above Droylsden.
Last weekend’s 2-1 win at Corby, courtesy of an 89th minute winner, was only Stortford’s first win in six, with Rod Stringer’s side taking just four points in that period.
Solihull Moors v Stalybridge Celtic
Stalybridge Celtic travel to Birmingham to face a Solihull Moors side unbeaten in their last six games.
Celtic have 21 points from 16 games so far, and went down 1-0 to Vauxhall Motors with ten men last time out after Lewis Hatch saw red.
That was Celtics third defeat from their last four games, and they will be hoping top-scorer Jack Laird can add to his tally of nine for the season this weekend.
Solihull have won five league games this campaign, and went unbeaten through November, winning three and drawing two, while scoring and conceding in every game.
Omar Bogle is the Moors leading scorer with six and Celtic will be hoping the home side are focused on next weekend’s FA Trophy tie against Wrexham rather than this clash.
The best of the rest
At the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division FC United of Manchester travel to Staffordshire to face Hednesford Town.
The Red Rebels are seventh in the standings but have games in hand on all teams currently above them in the league.
FC United were denied the opportunity to cut the gap when their midweek clash with Worksop Town was postponed.
Hednesford are second in the league and unbeaten since mid-October.
Ashton United have lost their last two games and host fourth-bottom Frickley Athletic at Hurst Cross who are without an away win all season.
In Evo-Stik League Division One (North), leaders Mossley entertain Cammell Laird as the Lilywhites search for their first win in three matches.
Radcliffe Borough make the short trip to face Salford City with the home side another victim of the weather after their midweek tie against Ramsbottom was postponed due to frost.
Rammy will hope the weather holds as they look to regain their position in the play-off places with a home win over Ossett Town.
Trafford progressed to the second round of the Doodson Sport Cup following Tuesday night’s win over Leek Town and travel to West Yorkshire to play Wakefield.
Curzon Ashton, buoyed by the return of last season’s leading scorer Chris McDonagh after short spells at Radcliffe Borough and Northwich Victoria, visit basement side Garforth Town.
Picture courtesy of Wikicommons, with thanks