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Local Non League Games 14.01.23

Written by on 13 January 2023

Local Non League Games  – 14.01.23

Pre-match thoughts from Dave Johnson

Widnes v Newcastle Town

Newcastle make the trip to bottom-of-the-table Widnes knowing it is a game they must win if they are to get back on track and get themselves back into the top half of the table.

After a creditable draw away to Kidsgrove and a disappointing draw at home to Hanley Town, Castle could do with a win – something they haven’t managed to achieve since a 2-1 win away to City of Liverpool on Bonfire Night.

Having slipped down to 15th in the table, they have picked up a mere four points in the eight games that have followed and Robin van der Laan will expect to see some real desire from his players.

With a home fixture against leaders Macclesfield to follow next weekend, it is imperative they come away from the DCBL Stadium with a minimum of a draw, but preferably with all three points.

Kidsgrove Athletic v Macclesfield

Is there any stopping Macclesfield this season? The way they brushed aside Leek Town last weekend certainly makes everybody aware, if they weren’t already, that they are more than a formidable outfit.

One thing is for sure, Kidsgrove will be giving everything they have got in an attempt to get the better of the league leaders on Saturday afternoon.

After a defeat and a draw in their last two games, Kidsgrove are still just outside the play-offs, but are now seven points adrift of Mossley in fifth place.

Macclesfield come into the game in magnificent form having brushed aside second-placed Leek Town last weekend and they have won all of their last four fixtures by a four-nil scoreline.

Hanley Town v Runcorn Linnets

Hanley face a stiff test if they are to finally record a first home win of the season when they take on fourth-placed Runcorn Linnets at their Potteries Park ground.

It will be a tough game for Hanley against a wide who, in the not too distant past took the scalps of both Macclesfield and Leek Town and on their day they are a formidable outfit.

They do seem to have a soft underbelly, however, and that has been evident in recent weeks, when they have lost three consecutive matches against Mossley, Witton Albion and City of Liverpool.

Hanley seem to have gone to pieces since beating Northwich in mid-November, picking up just three points from seven games – this fixture would be a great time to end that run.

Leek Town v Glossop North End

Leek must pick themselves up and dust themselves down as they look to put last weekend’s heavy defeat at the hand of leaders Macclesfield firmly behind them and concentrate on the job at hand.

Leek were dead and buried by half time after conceding four goals in seventeen minutes – the only positive to be taken from the game was the fact they kept a clean sheet in the second forty-five minutes.

Saturday’s visitors Glossop North End put a run of four consecutive defeats behind them with two draws and a win in their last three games.

Neil Baker’s men will no doubt be chomping at the bit, looking to put their recent disappointment behind them and prove a point to themselves, their manager and their supporters.

Congleton Town v Pinchbeck United

After two postponements Congleton will be keen to get back in action this weekend when  they face Pinchbeck United of the United Counties Premier League North this weekend.

This will be the Bears’ seventh cup game in fifteen fixtures, but their cup exploits this season have certainly not been detrimental to their league form.

Sitting in sixth place in the table with games in hand on all the sides above them, Richard Duffy’s side will relish this FA Vase tie against the Knights and will be confident of progressing to the fifth round of the competition/

Undefeated at the Cleric Stadium in all competitions this season, Congleton will surely feel that home advantage will weigh heavily in their favour.

Stafford Rangers v Matlock Town

After looking to be firmly in the driving seat with three goals in nine minutes either side of half-time last week, Stafford were hit hard after throwing it all away to lose their game against Gainsborough Trinity.

Each of the four goals they conceded will be a reminder that anything can happen in football and will hopefully drive home the message that you should never take anything for granted.

Rangers will surely be making sure they never take their collective foot off the gas when they host a Matlock Town side currently sitting two places above them in the table.

The two aides have each won one of their last four games, but whilst Stafford were beaten in all of their other three, Matlock managed two draws and just one defeat.

Belper Town v Nantwich Town

Could this fixture away to bottom-of-the-table Belper Town come at a better time for Nantwich after a poor run off results in recent weeks?

After a run of five games unbeaten, they have picked up a single point from their last three outings and now need a game to boost their confidence.

On paper at least, this is the ideal fixture, but anybody who has watched football for any length of time will tell you, there are no easy games, and this one won’t be any different.

Ritchie Sutton will point out Belper’s recent wins against Stafford and Morpeth, who are a point better off in the table than the Dabbers, and hope his players realise they must be at their best if they are