FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER V WHITBY TOWN
FC UNITED are seeking to prop back up the Evo-Stik Premier Division table when hosting Whitby Town at their temporary Bower Fold home in Stalybridge on Saturday.
Karl Marginson’s tenth-placed side have fallen nine points behind leaders Buxton in the seventh tier but have a game in hand on the leading pack.
Their inconsistent run of form has been evident in the past fortnight when they responded to their 4-1 defeat at Frickley Town with a confidence-boosting 3-1 home win over Grantham but were then dumped out of the FA Cup by lower-league Lancaster City last weekend.
The Reds can leapfrog fifth-placed Whitby, who completed the league double over them last season and can go nine games unbeaten, by taking three valuable points.
TRAFFORD FC V RAMSBOTTOM UNITED
TRAFFORD FC will also be hoping to jump ahead of their upcoming opponents in the Premier Division table with a win against Ramsbottom United at Shane View.
The Flixton-based outfit secured their first home win of the season at the sixth attempt on Tuesday night with a 4-0 thrashing of Nantwich Town and scoring goals hasn’t been a problem having netted 11 times in their last four outings combined.
Twelfth-placed Trafford sit a point behind eighth-placed Ramsbottom, who make the short trip across east Manchester having lost more league games than they have won and scored fewer goals than they have conceded so far this term.
The Rams, one of five teams level on 16 points going into this weekend’s round of fixtures, are still smarting from a 4-2 loss at mid-table Frickley last weekend.
STOURBRIDGE V ASHTON UNITED
FRESH from beating Salford City in FA Cup qualifying in midweek, the Robins travel to the west Midlands on Saturday to face eighth-placed Stourbridge in the Northern Premier League.
Ashton, jointly managed by two player-coaches Paul Phillips and Steve Halford, are currently languishing in 19th place after accruing only 10 points from a possible 33 since the start of the season, amassing only two league wins so far.
The Hurst Cross club, who finished fifth last term, are searching for their third away win of the campaign so far in all but will be buoyed by knocking out the Ammies in the second qualifying round replay at Moor Lane on Tuesday night.
Although they will face a challenging contest against a Stourbridge side who booked their place in the FA Cup third qualifying round in midweek and have suffered just one defeat from their previous eight matches in all competitions.
SALFORD CITY V BAMBER BRIDGE
SALFORD City will be aiming to bounce back from their first defeat of the season by extending their impressive league form against fellow promotion contenders Bamber Bridge at Moor Lane.
The Ammies were knocked out of the FA Cup at the second qualifying round stage by Ashton United (see above) as their 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions at the start of the campaign came to an end.
But the Evo Stik First Division North leaders – partly-owned by five members of Manchester United’s famed Class of ’92’ – have the opportunity to widen the gap at the top over second-placed Darlington, which currently stands at four points.
Lancashire-based Bamber Bridge occupied second spot themselves prior to their midweek 1-0 reverse at Northwich Victoria – their first loss since the opening weekend of the league season.
DROYLSDEN FC V CLITHEROE
DROYLSDEN will be looking to keep up the pressure on table-topping Salford when a Clitheroe side hovering perilously close to the relegation zone visit the Butcher’s Arms on Saturday afternoon.
The Bloods, who are joint second in the First Division North, responded to back-to-back home defeats in league and cup with a hard-fought 2-1 away win at Scarborough on Tuesday night.
Dave Pace’s men have scored double the amount of goals (26) as they have shipped (13) in their nine league games thus far and will be confident of another positive result against Clitheroe, who sit a point above the drop zone in 16th position.
Despite their indifferent league form of one win in five, the Lancashire club are in good spirits after thumping seven past Lancaster City to reach the FA Cup third qualifying round last time out.
FC HALIFAX TOWN V ALTRINCHAM FC
STRUGGLING Altrincham face a tough baptism when making the trip to second-placed FC Halifax on Saturday in the Vanarama Conference Premier.
Lee Sinnott’s side, who won promotion from the Conference North via the play-offs last term, ended a run of three straight league defeats with a narrow 1-0 victory over Macclesfield on Tuesday night but remain in the bottom four.
The men from Moss Lane have taken just 11 points from 13 league games this term and are still awaiting their first away win of the campaign.
It will be their first meeting with the Shaymen since the 2011/12 season as Halifax, who trail league leaders Barnet by eight points, seek to build on their four-match sequence without tasting defeat.
STOCKPORT COUNTY V GLOUCESTER
Stockport are searching for a fifth straight home win when they host lowly Gloucester City in the Vanarama Conference North this weekend.
The seventh-placed Hatters currently sit one point and two positions adrift of the play-offs but could move into the top five with another victory at Edgeley Park in their first match for a fortnight.
Having won just once on the road this term – and with upcoming trips to Oxford City and Leamington – Stockport will be keen to extend their unbeaten run which stands at four games as Alan Lord’s side target a first Football League return since 2010-11.
Gloucester, meanwhile, sit in the bottom three of the sixth tier in English football following a solitary win in their first 10 league games.