Non-league Matters: Stockport host Southport in preview of next month’s FA Trophy clash

By Matt Davies

MM previews the return to league action for Manchester’s non-league teams this weekend, following a hectic month of FA Cup and Trophy ties.

Blue Square Bet Premier

Stockport County v Southport

Stockport host Southport at Edgeley Park looking to get their league campaign back on track after just one league win in November.

This fixture occurs again in two weeks’ time, with Stockport drawn against Southport in the next round of the FA Trophy, after Jim Gannon’s side defeated Ossett Town last weekend.

Last Saturday’s 6-0 win against Ossett included a hat-trick on debut for loan signing from Scunthorpe Connor Jennings, while Danny Hattersley also scored a double for the Hatters.

Stockport County are currently in 14th place after 19 games, with a total of 24 points whereas their visitors are one point and one place above the relegation zone.

A win for The Sandgrounders would see them move level with their opponents in the league, while Liam Watson’s side overcame Stafford Rangers in the FA Trophy last week.

Skipper Simon Grand returns from suspension but defensive midfielder Andy Parry remains side-lined with a broken rib.

Michael Bakare has returned to Southport this week following a loan spell with Mancunian side Droylsden.

Hyde v Woking

Hyde welcome Woking to Ewen Fields looking to continue a run of form that seen The Tigers win four of their last six league games.

Scott McNiven’s side defeated high-flying Newport County in their last league outing but lost out 1-0 in an FA Trophy replay against Barrow on Tuesday.

Hyde are currently in 21st position, with five wins and 20 points from 19 matches so far this season and go up against the league’s worst defence.

Woking have conceded 42 goals so far this season, but are also free-scoring, with only Newport County and Wrexham having scored more than The Cardinals total of 35.

Garry Hill’s side are in 17th position going into this encounter, with 23 points from 20 games, including seven wins and 11 defeats.

Woking defeated Farnborough 7-0 in the FA Trophy last weekend, but it was their only win in November as they lost three of four league games.

On-loan Aldershot forward Bradley Bubb and Kevin Betsy are both among the goals this season, with 17 goals between them so far this campaign.

Blue Square Bet North

Boston United v Altrincham

Altrincham travel to Boston United with Lee Sinnott’s side looking to put together a run if form that can propel them up the league.

Alty are currently in 12th, with six wins form 14 games, although only the league’s top three have scored more goals than Altrincham’s total of 37.

An 8-0 win against Hinckley in their last league outing ended a run of three straight league defeats for the Mancunian side.

Both sides went out of the FA Trophy last weekend, Alty going down 5-2 to Halifax while Boston lost out to Evo-Stik North side Skelmersdale United 2-1.

On a positive note for Alty, hot-shot Damian Reeves was again on target, netting his 21st of the season.

The Pilgrims have won three of their last six and sit ninth in the table, but drew 2-2 with Solihull Moors in their last league outing.

Marc Newsham and Mark Jones both have ten goals each this season and with provide the main threat to Alty’s defence.

Oxford City v Droylsden

Droylsden visit Oxford City with The Bloods 15 points and 14 places behind their high-flying opponents.

The Bloods are 21st in the BSB North having won three of 15 games this season, whereas Oxford have seven wins from their matches, including four in the last ten.

The Mancunian side have lost three on the bounce  going into this encounter whereas Oxford have drawn three of the last four.

City go up against the leagues joint worst defence, with Droylsden and Corby having both conceded 38 times so far this season.

Oxford have signed Josh Mulvany from Kentucky Wildcats and Asham Holgate from Maidenhead this week, both in time for this encounter.

Stalybridge Celtic v Vauxhall Motors

Stalybridge Celtic welcome Vauxhall Motors to Bower Fold and will be hoping to reproduce the form that saw them knock Motors out of the FA Cup earlier this season.

Celtic have 21 points so far this season and are boosted by the news that Leeds United have allowed goalkeeper Alex Cairns to return on loan again this week.

Since the turn of the millennium, Vauxhall have won just four times at Bower Fold, their last victory coming in August 2010 in a 4-1 win.

Motors are five points and seven places behind tenth placed Celtic, with 16 points so far this season.

They have lost six of the last seven games, scoring five and conceding 21 in the process, while their last away win came on the opening day of the season.

Vauxhall have not kept a clean sheet since that game but they have only failed to score in four games this season, twice at home and twice on their travels.

Dan Parkinson and Tom Rutter are joint top-scorers for Motors, with four goals each this season.


The best of the rest

Karl Marginson’s FC United of Manchester head to the north-east tomorrow to face Blyth Spartans with the Red Rebels currently ninth in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Ashton United travel to Rushall Olympic, aiming to keep pace with the sides above them.

Mossley will retain their place at the summit of Evo-Stik League Division One (North) regardless of how they fare at home to Ossett Town.

Fourth-placed Trafford head to Irongate to face Neil Crowe’s Bamber Bridge while Curzon Ashton look to build on their recent upturn in form when they host lowly Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Radcliffe Borough and Salford City are both at home this weekend and face Goole and Farsley respectively.

Ramsbottom United are on the road and head to West Yorkshire where they will face Ossett Albion.

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