IT’S heartbreak for CURZON ASHTON central defender Jamie Stott who has to miss Sunday’s FA Cup second round clash with Wimbledon after being sent off against Halifax two weeks ago.
Stott was one of three Nash players to be dismissed but the only one to receive a straight red card, incurring a three-match ban. It was claimed he struck an opponent during a mass scuffle in the closing minutes. Curzon contested the referee’s decision but their appeal was rejected.
Manager John Flanagan said: “It’s a good job we were able to get our FA Trophy tie with Worcester played on Monday after it was postponed. If it had been frozen off again both Alex Brown and Niall Cummins would have been ruled out of the Wimbledon game.
“I really feel for Jamie. Because of a bad decision he’s suspended, misses a huge match, he’s been fined and he’s lost pay.”
The cup-tie, which will be played at the Tameside Stadium, kicks off at noon and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
Tomorrow (Saturday) in National League North, STALYBRIDGE CELTIC go into their must-win home game against Boston United still struggling with a long list of injuries.
Defenders Sam Tatum (broken ankle), Jay Gorton (knee) and Danny Wisdom (ankle) are all unavailable alongside midfielder Brian Summerskill (groin) and striker Scott Spencer (knee). The Bridge will also be without defender Keil O’Brien who is suspended after picking up a red card in the FA Trophy draw at Stocksbridge Park Steels last Saturday.
Co-bosses Paul Phillips and Steve Halford have attempted to plug the gaps by signing ex-Altrincham and Rochdale midfielder Billy Hasler Cregg, who has been playing for Droylsden, and taking striker Dan Cockerline on a month’s loan from National League high-fliers Barrow.
If the two new boys make an appearance they will be the 46th and 47th players used by Celtic this season.
A week after beating Spennymoor at the Brewery Field, ASHTON UNITED are looking to repeat the success at Hurst Cross to keep themselves in touch with the Evo-stik NPL premier division play-off places.
Chris Baguley, Matty Chadwick and Bobby Lofthouse all return for the Robins and there could be a start for Ryan Crowther who came on as a substitute last week, after a lengthy absence, and scored with his second touch.
Co-boss Jody Banim commented: “It was a brilliant win and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow. We rode our luck at times but we really deserved the victory. We played really well and opened them up a number of times. We could have scored more than the two we got as we hit the bar and had shots saved and blocked.
“We have virtually a full squad to choose from now and it’s all starting to come together. By the end of January I think things will have evened out in terms of games in hand and we’ll get a truer picture. If we’re round the play-off places then I’ll be very pleased.”
Joe Connor and Jack Dyche are expected to be available in a week’s time for Stourbridge’s visit to Hurst Cross.
In the first division north, Oldham Athletic left-back Callum Scullion is poised to make his debut for MOSSLEY who face Ramsbottom United at Seel Park. Fresh from their victory over Scarborough, GLOSSOP NORTH END take a full squad to face another promotion-challenging club, Brighouse Town.
The only absentee for DROYLSDEN, who are away to Bamber Bridge, is suspended defender Phil Clarke.
James Burke and Mark Dempsey return for HYDE UNITED’s match at Lancaster City, but Kyle Brownhill is suspended after being sent off against Ossett Albion last week.
Manager Darren Kelly said: “I’m hoping to make two more signings soon. I’m consistently looking to speak to quality players but the question of payment is always a potential stumbling block.
“At the end of the day we want to get better so that we have a strong season. There’s still a lot of points to play for and we still hope to be right up there. But we have to work hard to ensure we do that.
“We’ve got three big games coming up against Lancaster, Brighouse and Colne, and I love to think we could get all nine points although I’d be satisfied with seven.”