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New Year Non League Pre-Match Reports

Written by on 30 December 2022

New Year Non League Pre-Match Reports

By Dave Johnson

Monday 2nd January 2023

Kidsgrove Athletic v Newcastle Town

Kidsgrove won’t let their Boxing Day defeat to Workington discourage them too much as they aim to catapult themselves into the play-off places in the New Year.

They fell to a side who have now recorded six straight wins, but the Grove remain in touching distance, just two points behind fifth placed Mossley.

This week’s opponents, Newcastle Town, were narrowly beaten by Leek Town in their last outing but as we all know, derby matches can sometimes be decided on a roll of the dice.

But after four straight defeats, Castle will be desperate to get something from the game and a single point would be a welcome reward.

Hanley Town v Colne

Hanley must put their 4-0 defeat at Macclesfield behind them and concentrate on the job in hand as they face Colne, still in search of their first win at their Potteries Park home.

Home wins are rarer than hen’s teeth these days, and given that their away form has dipped in recent weeks – they have lost their last three on their travels, a home win would be a welcome way to let in the New Year.

Hanley have now picked up just one point in their last five outings which is frankly not good enough if they are to survive this season – they currently sit fourth from bottom.

Colne have lost one in eight games – a narrow 1-0 defeat to high flyers Leek Town, so Ryan Shotton’s side really need to be on top of their game if they are to get anything from this match.

Leek Town v 1874 Northwich

With leaders Macclesfield at home to a side at the other end of the table, rock bottom to be precise, it is unlikely they are about to slip up this week.

All the more reason for Leek to make sure they do their own job and pick up three valuable points against Northwich, to keep up the pressure on the Silkmen.

Mid-table Northwich were thumped 4-1 at home to Witton Albion on Boxing Day and could do with picking up something from Harrison Park in this one.

With several players suffering illness leading up to their game against Newcastle Town last week, they put in a below-par performance, but still came away with maximum points – more of the same would do.

Widnes v Macclesfield

No games are easy in this league, but in relative terms, this fixture is one of the more winnable as top of the table Macclesfield travel to face basement outfit Widnes.

The Sikmen will hope to start off the new year where they left off after making sure Hanley were unable to return to winning ways away from home with another four goals scored at home.

Only Ramsbottom have conceded more than Widnes this season and it doesn’t bode too well for them that they are about to take on a side who, with half a century of goals so far, are out and out leading goal scorers in the league.

With 18 goals to his name up to present, the league’s top scorer James Berry will be hoping to add to his tally, though with 14 goals so far, Nicky Maynard isn’t too far behind him.

Belper Town v Stafford Rangers

After their much-needed win over local rivals Nantwich in their previous fixture, Stafford will be hoping they have turned a corner again and that they can get back on track

Such is the nature of this league, there are only four points between third -placed Gainsborough Trinity and Radcliffe in eleventh place, so Rangers are still right in  the mix.

Currently stranded at the foot of the table with just three wins all season, Belper should be there for the taking and given they are just two points behind Bamber Bridge in fifth spot with a game in hand, their season is still very much alive.

With one win in ten games, twelve in all competitions, confidence will be low for the home side – Stafford really need to take full advantage.

Nantwich Town v Warrington Town

Not only the Dabbers’ defeat at the hands of Stafford Rangers, but their lack of performance in that game will be a return to reality following their recent uplift in form.

They need to get back on track sharpish if they are to continue the good work they have shown in recent weeks and both Ritchie Sutton and Gary Taylor-Fletcher will have to make sure they are ready for the battle ahead.

Despite only winning one of their last five fixtures, Warrington Town still have the play-offs firmly in their sights and The Dabbers face a side who will be determined to get back to winning ways.

A glance at the league table – Nantwich are back in the bottom four – is all the Greens will need to motivate them to pick up where they recently left off.

Tuesday 3rd January 2023

Congleton Town v Stockport Town (Cheshire Senior Cup)

Congleton Town are back in cup action on Tuesday when they take on Stockport Town at the Cleric Stadium, hoping to follow up on a terrific win at Northwich Victoria on Boxing Day.

The Bears have been in terrific form, especially on home soil, but they are not expected to have things all their own way against Stockport, despite playing their league football at a higher level.

Tuesday’s visitors will make their way to Congleton full of belief in their ability to pull off a positive result, sitting proudly at the top of the First Division South.

With four straight victories, however, Congleton are particularly strong at home, where they have won all of their last ten home fixtures in all competitions.