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Non-League Football this weekend – 17.12.22

Written by on 16 December 2022

Non-League Football this weekend – 17.12.22

Pre-match Reports – Dave Johnson

Witton Albion v Newcastle Town

Two sides with contrasting recent form face each other at the “U Lock It Stadium” this weekend when Newcastle come up against in-form Witton Albion.

Rob van der Laan’s side can’t buy a win at the moment, and with just two points from their last five games they desperately need to find something from somewhere.

Perhaps they would have hoped for different opponents this weekend, if they could have had the choice, they would probably have chosen lesser opponents.

The Albs are currently in a decent run of form, five games unbeaten, but they are not unbeatable at home – four wins and three defeats from eight tell their own story.

Kidsgrove Athletic v Colne

Kidsgrove are on the coat-tails of the play-off contenders, with an inferior goal difference to Clitheroe keeping them out of the top five.

Their recent form has been impressive – 2-0 defeat at Runcorn Linnets blotting their copybook, a sole defeat sitting right in the middle of five wins.

They won’t have things all their own way this week though. Colne’s only defeat in their last seven fixtures was a 1-0 defeat to Leek Town.

But with Clitheroe facing leaders Macclesfield on Saturday, the Grove will be ready to take advantage of any slip-up by their play-off rivals.

Hanley Town v Ramsbottom United

After waiting so long for their first point on home soil this season thanks to a 1-1 draw against Mossley, Hanley will be looking to go one better against a Ramsbottom side who suffered a 4-0 defeat to Macclesfield in their most recent outing.

Sitting rock bottom at the foot of the table, United have lost their last three games, but won at Newcastle recently and could well pose a threat.

The creditable draw at home to Mossley followed three consecutive defeats during which they conceded ten goals.

If Ryan Shotton’s side can start to tighten up at the back once again then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be celebrating their first home win ahead of the festive period.

Leek Town v Bootle

Leek’s recent home defeat to Runcorn Linnets, along with another three points for Linnets since then has seen Leek slip to fourth in the table.

But should they take advantage of their game in hand over both Linnets and Workington in third place, they could reclaim second spot just behind Macclesfield.

They have a further game in hand on the Silkmen, and if they were to win that one too, they would be just two points behind them, waiting for any slip-ups there may be.

In their way are a Bootle side who have won their last three game and who are unbeaten in five. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Clitheroe v Macclesfield

Macclesfield are advertising for a new boss after the surprise resignation of manager Dave McNabb and his assistant Time Lees last weekend due to work commitments.

The two of them finished following the 4-0 victory over Ramsbottom United after just seven weeks in charge, but leave the club six points clear at the top of the table.

Macclesfield take on fifth placed Clitheroe this weekend knowing that the pressure is on to continue ‘as they were’ regardless of who is pulling the strings in the dressing room.

Clitheroe have won three games on the bounce at their Shawbridge ground and promise to prove tough opposition for the league leaders. The question is, how will the Silkmen fare without a manager?

Congleton v Bury AFC

After two postponed fixtures, Congleton are back on home soil on Saturday afternoon, something they have relished in recent weeks.

The stats certainly make good reading; their form at the Cleric Stadium will be the cause of envy for many a team in the league after ten straight wins in all competitions.

Saturday’s opponents Bury will no doubt put that record to the test. Congleton sit one place and three points above them in the table. But there is more to it than that.

For one reason or another, Bury have five games in hand. Points in the bag are always better than games in hand, but the figures show Bury’s potential and they stand in Congleton’s way as they aim for eleven in a row.

Stafford Rangers v Ashton United

Stafford get the chance to get back on track with a home game against Ashton United, but need to improve on their recent home form if they are to do so.

Rangers boss Matt Hill will be looking to go one better after the two sides last met, when a late, late goal by Harry Coates earned Ashton a point at Hurst Cross back in October.

Neither side have exactly ripped up trees in their recent games; Rangers have record one win in four games, losing two of their last three at home

While Ashton have one win in four games, and have picked up a single point from their last three away; it was, however, a well-earned point in a 3-3 draw away to leaders South Shields a fortnight ago.

Nantwich Town v FC United of Manchester

Unbeaten in six in all competitions with five wins and a draw, Nantwich go into this game on the back of two away wins, picking up maximum points at Radcliffe and at Warrington Rylands.

It has been a remarkable turn-around after previously struggling for much of the season, but it seems as though the players are buying in to what Ritchie Sutton and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are trying to do

After recent defeats at the hands of Gainsborough Trinity and Stafford Rangers, FC United of Manchester followed up with a 2-0 home win against basement outfit Belper Town.

Going on the Dabbers’ recent form, they should find their trip to the Swansway Stadium a tad more difficult, as Nantwich look to continue what has been a terrific run.