Weekend preview - Saturday 20th October 2018
Fri 19th October 2018 | General | By Patrick Burke
Attention shifts to the Macron Cup this weekend, with 28 ties taking place over three days in what should be a welcome distraction from league action.
On Friday night, there is a mouth-watering clash on Merseyside as Bootle entertain Vauxhall Motors.
The Bucks are 8th in the Premier Division, and thrashed Padiham 4-0 on Tuesday with Joe Doran back at the helm. Their visitors occupy the same position in the First Division South, but are unbeaten in 11 and hammered higher-ranked Seaham Red Star 4-0 in the Buildbase FA Vase last time out.
There are two other matches taking place earlier than the rest.
An all First Division South clash sees 3rd placed St Martins look to make it four wins on the spin at home to Cammell Laird 1907, who are 17th but had won six consecutive games prior to back-to-back cup defeats.
There is also an inter-First Division clash as Stone Dominoes seek to halt a 10 match losing streak at home to Ashton Town, who are 15th in the North.
After Vase elimination at a strong Hebburn Town side last weekend, Premier Division leaders City of Liverpool will seek to return to winning ways at home to Ashton Athletic, although they will be wary of the fact that the away side have taken 13 of the last 15 points on offer.
2nd placed Runcorn Town also meet Premier Division opposition as they travel to Charnock Richard. The hosts are 11th after losing three of their last four, whilst Town come into this one on the back of a heroic 4-2 triumph in the North East on Tuesday at Guisborough Town
Silsden in 3rd clinched a first win in six at home to Staveley Miners Welfare in a midweek Vase replay, and welcome Garstang of the First Division North.
Lee Baker’s men are 13th, but have lost just one of their last eight and triumphed on penalties in cups in their last two outings away at Longridge Town and Swallownest.
Congleton Town moved up to 4th in the Premier Division as a 5-0 victory at West Didsbury & Chorlton ended a run of three straight losses, and they make the visit to Barnton.
The Villagers are 12th in the First Division South, but appear to be getting it right under James McShane as they have won their last four, scoring at least five in each.
Whitchurch Alport and Prestwich Heys both finished in the play-offs in the First Division last term, with the former ultimately earning promotion to the top tier, where they sit 7th following a seven game unbeaten streak. But Tuesday’s 6-0 vanquishing of Atherton LR was like the Heys that we were used to seeing last term, and the three points lifted them to 5th in the North.
Two setbacks in seven days have seen Padiham slip to 9th in the Premier Division, so they will hope to bounce back at home to Shelley, who are 6th in the First Division North and took Evo-Stik First Division East outfit Frickley Athletic to penalties in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup on Tuesday.
10th placed 1874 Northwich have lost just one of their last six going into a visit to Chadderton, who have slipped to 16th after winning just one out of seven.
Litherland REMYCA appear to have found their feet in the Premier Division, winning their last three league matches to move up to 12th.
They face a weekend trip to Cheadle Heath Nomads, who are 5th in the First Division South after winning their last three, including a 2-0 victory over table-topping Abbey Hulton United last weekend.
A Vase victory over Sandbach United and a midweek draw at Whitchurch appears to have 13th placed Squires Gate back on track, but they face a potential banana skin as they face a visit to Longridge Town, who head the First Division North after beating Ashton Town 7-2 on Tuesday to make it 10 consecutive league wins.
Managerless Hanley Town are 15th in the Premier Division after losing their last four, and that’s a sequence equalled by hosts Nelson, who are 17th in the North.
Last year’s runners-up Burscough claimed a fine 3-0 win at Bootle last week, putting them 16th in the Premier Division, and they entertain a New Mills side who have slipped to 14th in the First Division South after five successive defeats.
Two wins in the Vase and the league have been a welcome boost for Irlam, putting them 17th in the Premier. They entertain Abbey Hulton, who are top of the South but have lost their last two.
West Didsbury & Chorlton are 18th after losing nine of their last ten, so will hope to avoid an upset at FC Oswestry Town, the hosts 9th in the South and unbeaten in five.
Beating Padiham 2-1 moved Abbey Hey off the foot of the Premier Division, but there’s been no such luck for visiting Daisy Hill of the North, who still seek their first league win of the campaign.
It’s Winsford United who now prop up the top tier, and they face the long journey to Cleator Moor Celtic, who are 10th in the North.
One of the day’s stand-out ties sees Rylands entertain Carlisle City, both sides flying in their respective divisions. The home team are 4th in the South after losing just one of their last eight, whilst the Sky Blues travel 2nd in the North looking to extend their current winning run to seven.
In an all North clash, 3rd placed Avro travel to 14th placed Bacup Borough, but it will be a tricky test for the visitors as Brent Peters’ side drew 3-3 in the league fixture at Avro recently, and only leaders Longridge have conquered them in the last five.
Sandbach United against AFC Liverpool also looks finely-poised: the hosts are 11th in the First Division South but have won eight of their last ten in all competitions, whilst the visitors are 4th in the North, losing just once in the league since mid-August.
Stone Old Alleynians are still the only unbeaten side in the two first divisions, lying 6th in the South, and play host to AFC Blackpool, 11th in the North.
Steeton are 7th in the North, so will hope to return to winning ways at Maine Road. Calum Sykes’ men climbed out of the bottom two on Monday with a stunning 6-5 victory over Abbey Hulton, so they should go into this one with plenty of confidence.
Despite losing their last three, Cheadle Town are 7th in the South, and face a visit to a St Helens Town side who are 12th in the North after winning for the first time in five last weekend against Daisy Hill.
AFC Darwen have won just one of their last six to sit 8th in the North; they travel to Eccleshall, who are 16th in the South.
It’s been the toughest of weeks for the Pershall Park side, but the Eagles came back to earn a draw at Stone Old Alleynians in midweek.
After losing their last three, Lower Breck will hope for the winning feeling to return at fellow North outfit Holker Old Boys, who reside second from bottom.
The final tie on Saturday is an all-South clash between Stockport Town and Ellesmere Rangers. The Lions have slipped back to 16th after losing their last three, whilst the visitors’ wait for a first league win goes on, although they did beat Stone Old Alleynians on penalties in the First Division Cup a fortnight ago.
There is one game on Sunday: Northwich Victoria are 6th in the Premier Division and look to make it four wins on the spin at home to Alsager Town, who are 13th after an inconsistent run in the First Division South.
Something to suit all tastes this weekend then, so get along to your local Hallmark Security League club!