Three games to look forward to for Staffordshire-based fans of non-league football this weekend, as Kidsgrove Athletic, Newcastle Town and Leek Town are all in action in the Northern Premier League Division One South East.
Kidsgrove Athletic vs Frickley Athletic
Kidsgrove kick off the action at home to Frickley Athletic at 3pm on Saturday. Ryan Austin’s men sit in 15th on 10 points, having played only seven games due to bad weather.
They enter the game on red-hot form, unbeaten in four, and will hope to leapfrog a Frickley side who have played an extra six games, and sit only one point and place above them.
Speaking to the press, Austin reaffirmed his aim to get his side into the playoffs, stating that after a poor start to the season, now was the time for his side to find the form needed to push up the table.
The Grove will look to build on the comprehensive 5-0 victory they achieved over Lincoln United in their last league fixture, led by a true captain’s performance from Anthony Malbon.
A potentially similar scoreline could be on the cards on Saturday, as their opponents have conceded the second-most goals in the entire league.
Belper Town vs Newcastle Town
Newcastle Town will be the second team playing at 3pm on Saturday, as they take on the in-form Belper Town away from home.
Castle will go in as serious underdogs, having only won one of their last eight games, while their opponents have only dropped two points in their six games so far.
However, Robin van der Laan’s men will have taken some confidence from a strong performance away at early title-contenders Leek Town in their last fixture, in which they looked set to steal a shock 2-1 victory, but for a fortunate 95th minute equalizer.
Castle will hope to replicate another giant-killing performance at the weekend, to hand Belper Town their first loss of the season.
Leek Town vs Lincoln United
Finally, second-placed Leek Town take on 11th place Lincoln United at home in another 3pm Saturday fixture, as they look to use their game-in-hand to jump to the top of the league.
Neil Baker’s men will aim to extend their unbeaten streak to four against a Lincoln side who have only one win in their last four games, and who lost their previous game 5-0 at home to Kidsgrove.
The Blues, meanwhile, will be high on confidence having achieved a comfortable 2-0 win over Chasetown, who they have recently struggled to beat. However, with the return of top scorer Neil Grice, they were able to progress to the next qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
They will be hoping to maintain this form going into a game in which they are clear favourites, against an Amateurs team that sit eight points behind them despite having played four extra games.