Non-League Matters: Hyde desperate for first win of year but snow return could cause weekend havoc

By Matt Davies

Manchester is set for another action-packed weekend of non-league football, assuming that the weather doesn’t play its part.

Heavy snow disrupted last week’s fixtures and with more of the white stuff due this weekend, there is every possibility of even more postponements.

Stockport County are without a game this weekend, after their clash with Barrow was moved in order to fulfil the Cumbrian sides’ FA Trophy commitments.

The club will officially announce new manager Darije Kalezic on Monday, but the Swiss-born Bosnian will not take charge of the Hatters game against Nuneaton on Tuesday.

That job will be left to former-manager Jim Gannon’s assistant Alan Lord, who is fresh from guiding County out of the drop-zone with a win over Forest Green Rovers last weekend.

Assuming the weather doesn’t play its part in disrupting the schedule this weekend, MM takes a look at what footballing fans in the region can look forward to.

Hyde v Ebbsfleet United

Hyde host Blue Square Bet Premier strugglers Ebbsfleet at Ewen Fields, looking for their first win of 2013 after a hat-trick of narrow league defeats.

The Tiger’s will be all too aware of the threat posed by United however, as despite the Kentish side being seven points adrift, they came from two goals down to beat Hyde in November.

Both sides possess strikers battling it out for the leagues golden boot, as Hyde’s clinical frontman Phil Jevons has 14 so far, while Fleet’s Nathan Elder is just behind on 12.

A pitch inspection is planned for 8am on Saturday morning after the pitch survived an initial pitch inspection on Friday.

Guiseley v Altrincham

Altrincham travel to second-placed Guiseley’s Nethermoor Park on Saturday for a match featuring the league’s second and third best attacks.

Lee Sinnott has a fully fit squad for the encounter, apart from James Lawrie whose foot injury is expected to keep him side-lined for a further fortnight.

The Robin’s back up goalkeeper Adam Reid has gone on a second loan spell this season, linking up with Prescot Cables for the next month.

Guiseley will be gunning to close the gap on leader’s Chester, while Altrincham can continue to enhance their position in the play-off places.

Oxford City v Stalybridge Celtic

Stalybridge Celtic face a trip to fellow play-off chasers Oxford City, with just two points separating the sides.

However, Celtic will be conscious of the fact they have played several more games than all the sides around them, and will be desperately searching for all three points.

Stalybridge have signed Australian midfielder Adam Parkhouse in the run-up to this encounter, while Rico Gomes has left the club, reportedly to sign for Boavista in his native Portugal.

Droylsden v Hinckley United

Droylsden host Hinckley United in a battle of the relegation threatened sides in the Blue Square Bet North.

The Bloods have gone nine games without a league win since the end of October, but the weather and cup clashes have decimated their fixture list.

Hinckley have just one point this campaign, and are without a league win since August 25 although the three points has since been docked for failing to pay football creditors.

Carl Heggs’ side have netted just once in their last six games so Droylsden will see this match as an opportunity to close the seven point gap to Histon, one place above them.

The best of the rest

After no matches were possible last weekend across the entire Evo-Stik League, clubs will hope for better luck with the weather this time around to avoid a fixture pile-up.

Danny Johnson’s Ashton United are winless in four at home but have the chance to gain ground on fellow play-off hopefuls when they host fourth-placed Witton Albion.

FC United are also in the promotion hunt and entertain Blyth Spartans, looking to muscle their way into the play-off picture before their games in hand kick in.

In Evo-Stik League Division One (North), league leaders Mossley make the trip to Goole knowing any slip-up and Trafford will be eyeing their place at the summit.

Garry Vaughan’s men play Cammell Laird at Shawe View while there is a battle of the close-season fancied teams at the Tameside Stadium as Curzon Ashton play New Mills.

Salford City – under the caretaker management of Andy Heald after the resignation of Darren Sheridan – entertain Harrogate Railway Athletic at Moor Lane.

Elsewhere, Ramsbottom United host Burscough while Radcliffe Borough and Clitheroe meet for the fifth time this season at Stainton Park.

Picture courtesy of fchmksfkcb, with thanks

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