Division One Preview - 21st April 2018
Fri 20th April 2018 | General | By Gary Langley
It has been a topsy turvey week in Division One with a number of high profile fixtures having been played and the leadership having changed hands again. This was down to a battling win for Remyca at Alsager in midweek whilst Silsden could only draw. Whitchurch also grabbed hold of third spot with a 1-0 win away at Abbey Hulton.
Looking at this weekend’s fixtures a number of the top clubs play a number of clubs in the bottom third so this could well be a defining week for some. Given last week’s results though there is one exception to that loose layout and we will start this week’s previews by looking at Whitchurch Alport vs Silsden AFC at Yockings Park. Two of the Divisions big hitters meet in a game that both clubs will be desperate to win, both sides are in fine form and both have their eyes on automatic promotion. You cannot really separate recent form although back on January 20th, Alport travelled to Silsden and care away with a decent looking 2-1 win.
League leaders Litherland Remyca host AFC Blackpool at Litherland Sports Park with nine straight league wins under their belt as tyvreturned to the top of the table in midweek. That midweek win over Alsager certainly caught the attention of many promotion rivals as it is not an easy place to go. AFC Blackpool have blown somewhat hit and cold of late and have slipped back a bit, indeed they are eight points off the play-off zone having hovered around fifth and sixth for long periods of the campaign. The Mechanics will View this as a must-win if they are to revive their play-off chances.
Bacup Borough welcome Sandbach to The Brian Boys West View Stadium with both sides keen to muster quick points. Bacup are third from bottom of the table but have a number of games in hand on other clubs around them and they have a number of these fixtures scheduled at home. They can beat anyone on their day but will have to work hard to take anything from a Sandbach side who have been strong recently and are only a couple of wins from securing a play-off spot.
Nelson and Prestwich Heys at Little Wembley with the home side already planning for next season but the visitors still have their destiny in their own hands. Third placed Heys celebrated their 80th anniversary last Saturday with a comprehensive 8-1 win over Stockport Town and followed that up on Wednesday evening with a just as impressive 7-2 home win over Carlisle City. They are bang on form at the moment and look like strong challengers for automatic promotion if they can keep that up.
Cammell Laird and New Mills meet at Kirkland’s with Lairds still keeping hold of the coat tails of the play-off chasing pack. Cup games have brought them success of late but they will be keen to convert that into an end of season run of results to try and sneak above that play-off line. New Mills have impressed of late and have lost only one of their last three, the other two games were wins over high flying Prestwich Heys and Whitchurch Alport! They will be looking to replicate their form in those games to continue their recent climb up the table.
Holker OB will be keen to keep their own chase for a play-off spot alive this weekend as they face Eccleshall at Rakesmoor. Holker have lost only two of their last nine games and are in good condition at present as they look to keep the pressure on the sides above them. Eccleshall will be keen to finish with a bit of a flourish, they are in the bottom third of the table at the moment but are much improved from last season and are clearly building on and off the Park.
Alsager Town suffered a setback in midweek to their play-off aspirations when they were beaten 0-1 by Remyca but they will be keen to bounce back as they take on Daisy Hill this weekend. At the time of writing only two points separate Alsager in sixth from Cammell Laird in seventh so the pressure is on a wee bit to clock up some quick points. Daisy Hill are not having the best of seasons, currently proving up the table with the worst goal difference they will be keen to get a couple of wins in between now and the seasons end to avoid the ignamy of finishing bottom.
Chadderton host Carlisle City at the ARK Fleetech Arena with both clubs comfortable in mid-table, Carlisle will be keen to bounce back from their heavy defeat at Prestwich Heys in midweek and over at Park Road Cheadle Town and Atherton LR face each other with only a point separating this sides who are also both in that mid-table region.
Another side looking to recover from a recent heavy defeat by Prestwich are Stockport Town who host FC Oswestry Town at Lambeth Grove this weekend, their heavy defeat last weekend was swiftly followed by a 2-4 home defeat to Nelson in midweek so they will be keen to get some momentum going again. Also looking for some end of season momentum are Abbey Hulton and St Helens Town who meet at Birches Head Road. Abbey Hulton are normally pretty decent at home whilst Town have been relatively poor on the road, it cries out coupon buster.