IF STALYBRIDGE CELTIC are serious about making the BetVictor NPL premier division play-offs, they have to take something from tomorrow (Saturday’s) home match with third-placed Basford United.
After closing 2019 with an impressive run, the Bridge have taken only two points from nine in the new year, culminating in last week’s 3-0 defeat at Atherton Collieries which left them in sixth place and having played more games than the clubs around them.
A sequence of four consecutive home matches offers them the chance to reignite their promotion push although they face difficult opposition including league leaders South Shields.
This weekend, they will be without striker Craig Hobson who has a broken foot. On-loan Manchester United defender Max Taylor prepares to make his full debut after coming on as substitute at the Skuna Stadium.
Nathan Valentine has joined Matlock Town on loan until the end of the season.
Teenage utility man Jaheim Headley should figure for HYDE UNITED at Nantwich where the Tigers will be hoping to erase the memory of three consecutive home defeats.
The 18-year-old, who is on loan from Huddersfield Town, moves to Ewen Fields just as another loanee, Connor Hughes, returns to Ashton United.
Manager Dave McGurk has problems up front, so there could be another signing before the match. Dan Turner (knee and foot) and Chris Sharp (neck and back) are both struggling. Jack Dyche is suspended.
Harry Benns and James Hodges should be back in contention by the end of the month.
Connor Hughes returns to Hurst Cross in time for ASHTON UNITED’s trip to Morpeth. They ought to be in good mood having beaten Stafford last week to record Mike Clegg’s first win as Robins manager.
Clegg has a fully fit squad but Chester midfielder Craig Mahon is set to play his last match before completing his loan spell.
In the first division south east, Moussa Samassa will be missing for GLOSSOP NORTH END who’ll be looking to make it four games unbeaten when they visit Sutton Coldfield.
Co-bosses Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison have signed left-back George Mannion who has been playing for Australian club West Torrens Birkalla. The 23-year-old was previously with Chester, Northwich Victoria, Colwyn Bay and Prescot Cables.
Striker Jamie Rainford has left MOSSLEY and signed for Widnes. Manager Dave Wild said: “He has a young family and the travelling was causing issues. But he goes with my best wishes. I have nothing but good things to say about him.”
Otherwise the Lilywhites have a full squad for their match with Marine at Seel Park.
Droylsden have no game this weekend. They are back in action on Saturday, January 25, when they visit City of Liverpool.
New striker Owen Watkinson — signed on loan from Blackpool — should figure for CURZON ASHTON at home to Farsley Celtic in National League North. Midfielder Andy Halls remains suspended.