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Non-league Matters: Stockport County looking to avoid FA Trophy slip-up against minnows Ossett Town

By Matt Davies

Manchester’s non-league big guns enter the FA Trophy, joining Altrincham in their bid for a trip to Wembley, while there are plenty of other games to whet the appetite.

The FA Trophy

Stockport County v Ossett Town

Stockport County welcome Ossett Town of the Evo-stik League Division One North to Edgeley Park, looking to avoid an upset against a side three divisions lower in the football pyramid.

County are currently 14th in the Blue Square Bet Premier but have won just once in November, going down 2-0 at basement club Nuneaton Town last time out.

The Hatter’s have won four and lost four of nine league games at Edgeley Park this season.

Ossett beat Blue Square Bet North opposition in the last round, knocking out Workington Town and Craig Elliot’s side have won three of their last four games.

Town beat Salford City 2-0 last weekend and are currently 14th in their league having won four of 15 games.

Hyde v Barrow AFC

Hyde host Barrow at Ewen Fields in a battle of the Premier Division’s lower sides.

Hyde sit in 21st position, a point and two places above their visitors, and have won four of their last six games in the league.

Striker Phil Jevons rescued a point for the Tigers on Tuesday night against Alfreton, scoring his second in as many games.

He was also on target as Hyde defeated top-of-the-table Newport County last Saturday, with Luke Ashworth and Scott Spencer also on the score sheet.

Barrow have amassed 19 points so far this season and drew 2-2 with high-flying Forest Green Rovers last time out.

The Bluebird’s have signed 19-year-old Rochdale defender Neill Byrne this week and the centre-back is eligible for this encounter.

FC Halifax Town v Altrincham

Altrincham visit in-form Halifax Town, with the home side currently fifth in the BSB North having score eight in their last two league games.

Alty midfielder Carl Rodgers misses out again, having not played since limping off in the FA Trophy win against Worcester City.

Hit-man Damian Reeves will be looking to add to his 20 goal haul for the season, after failing to score in Altrincham’s 8-0 demolition of Hinckley last time out.

FC Halifax have won eight of 13 games this season, and have suffered just three defeats, leaving them seven places and six points ahead of Lee Sinnott’s side.

On-loan striker Alex Titchener was recalled by parent-club Fleetwood Town after bagging a hat-trick in last weekend’s 4-1 win over Droylsden.

Club top-scorer Dale Johnson was also on the score sheet, and has nine goals so far this season, although he has started just one of the last six games.

The Shaymen have scored 29 league goals already this season and have conceded just ten but Altrincham are unbeaten in the previous two games between the sides.

Alty have won one and drawn one against FC Halifax, scoring five and conceding three.

Droylsden and Stalybridge Celtic are without games this weekend, after suffering defeat in the last round of the FA Trophy.

The best of the rest

The eyes of the Evo-Stik Premier Division will be firmly fixed on Hurst Cross this weekend as the top two go head to head.

Ashton United host North Ferriby United aiming to recover after a surprise home defeat in midweek to lowly Ilkeston Town.

Karl Marginson’s FC United of Manchester head to Victory Park to face seventh-placed Chorley, looking to bounce back from midweek defeat at the hands of Marine.

In Evo-Stik League Division One (North), Curzon Ashton head to Ramsbottom United looking to build on Tuesday evening’s victory at league leaders Mossley.

Mossley will look to recover from this loss when they travel to Cantilever Park to face Shaun Reid’s Warrington Town.

The Lilywhites still lead the division but will be feeling the heat from Skelmersdale United after Tommy Lawson’s side took advantage of their slip-up by overcoming Salford City.

The Ammies – awaiting international clearance for the signing of Mario Balotelli’s brother, Enoch – were two goals up against unbeaten Skelmersdale on Tuesday before a late Skem revival.

Darren Sheridan’s side will look to get back to winning ways after three straight league defeats as they entertain Ossett Albion at Moor Lane.

Radcliffe Borough travel to West Yorkshire to face Farsley, while Garry Vaughan’s Trafford host Lancaster City.

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