Non-league Matters: Hyde and Stockport embroiled in enticing ties as FA Trophy qualifying gets underway

By Matt Davies

MM explore this weekend’s fixtures across Greater Manchester as enticing league ties are battled out and the FA Carlsberg Trophy qualifying round gets underway.

Blue Square Bet Conference

Dartford FC v Hyde FC

Hyde face a tough trip to sixth-placed Dartford, looking to climb off the foot of the table.

After surrendering a two goal lead at Nuneaton last weekend, the Tigers will be looking to in-form Phil Jevons to provide the fire power at Princes Park.

Dartford can look to build on Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Braintree with forward Harry Crawford aiming to increase his tally of five goals for the season.


Stockport County v Ebbsfleet United

Stockport host Ebbsfleet at Edgeley Park aiming to pick up a first win in ten games.

An own goal denied the Hatters late on against Southport in midweek with the home side currently sitting in 18th place.

Ebbsfleet sit four league places and two points below County and are looking for their first win in four following Tuesday evenings 2-2 draw with Woking.

Nathan Elder is top scorer for The Fleet so far this campaign, with four goals to his name.


Bishops Stortford v Altrincham

Altrincham face their longest away trip of the league campaign against Bishops Stortford.

Alty lost both games against Rod Stringer’s side last season but have a full squad available for this encounter.

Altrincham eased past Shildon in the Trophy last Saturday thanks to three goals in the first 12 minutes, and prolific front-man Damian Reeves (two) was again on the score-sheet.

In-form Stortford have picked up their tally of ten league points from their last four games and Ricky Sappleton’s hat-trick was part of the 4-1 FA Trophy demolition at Enfield last weekend.


Droylsden v Gloucester City

Droylsden will be looking to arrest a run of four straight league defeats when they host 17thplaced Gloucester City.

After a disappointing 4-3 defeat to lower league Whitby in the FA Cup last weekend, the Bloods will be looking to ensure that September is not six defeats from six.

City lost 5-0 last time out in the league but did win this encounter last season.

With both sides having just one win in six and struggling for form, this game can be considered an early season six-pointer with both sides keen to scramble away from the relegation zone.


Stalybridge Celtic v Chester FC

High flying Chester visit Celtic with the home side looking to build on a run of four wins from six.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Vauxhall Motors ensured Celtics place in the next round of the Trophy and Jack Laird can look to add to his tally of five goals in his last four league games.

The Blues are in fine form themselves and suffered only their first l defeat of the season in their last league game against Boston.

That defeat stopped a run of seven straight wins and Neil Young’s’ side remain in the FA Cup  with a replay of last weekend’s draw at Gainsborough Trinity yet to be played.

Iain Howard is Chester’s top goal scorer with 5, and is part of a strike-force that has found the net on 22 occasions in the BSB North already this season.


The FA Carlsberg Trophy first qualifying round

Trafford travel to Station View to face Harrogate Railway, looking to follow up last weekend’s 5-3 FA Cup win over Spennymoor Town with a run in the Trophy.

Ashton United visit Ossett Town, keen to bounce back from their FA Cup exit to Marine but face a side that have lost just once at home this season.

Mid-table Curzon Ashton host Worksop Town, with Curzon also looking for a Trophy run after FA Cup defeat last time out.

The tie of the round for Manchester clubs comes in the form of table topping Mossley’s trip to Gigg Lane to face FC United.

FC United dumped Salford out of the FA Cup and head in to this encounter with only one defeat this season to their name.

Mossley currently sit five points clear in the Evo-stik League Northern Premier First Division, and this tie has all the makings of another enthralling Mancunian encounter.

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