Newly-promoted men face Hoppers

Lloyd Davies
Lloyd Davies
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After starting the National League Two North season with a couple of Roses clashes, Preston Grasshoppers take on the first of their six Midlands opponents tomorrow, when Broadstreet visit Lightfoot Green.

Because of a reshuffle of fixtures, this will be the third successive away game for the visitors, who have begun with one victory and one defeat after winning promotion in April.

That puts them level on five points with Hoppers, who lost their opening home game but made amends with a good win at Otley last Saturday.

The clubs last met in the 2009/2010 season when the Midlanders were relegated after a 10-10 home draw with Hoppers and a 22-17 defeat in Preston. They also lost on their only previous visit to Lightfoot Green.

Hoppers stick with pretty much the same squad as last week, with Lewis Allen keeping his place on the wing after switching there when Conor Trueman twisted an ankle in the warm-up.

Lloyd Davies continues at fly-half.

Sam Whyte is on the bench for the first time this season along with Tom Hurst, recovered from his opening-day injury.

Vale of Lune, second in North One West on points difference following victories at home and away in their first two games, return to Powderhouse Lane to take on Birkenhead Park,n.

The visitors missed out on promotion last season, losing a play-off after finishing second, compared to Vale’s eighth place. The Wirral club won both meetings last term.

Vale make a number of changes in the backs, with Adam Macluskie and David Haigh on the wings and Ian Bird partnering Ben Dorrington at centre.

Ollie Dobson starts at scrum-half, with Billy Swarbrick on the bench, and there are two changes at prop.

Portuguese student Tomas Moreira starts after coming off the bench last week and James Hesketh comes in for the injured Tom Smith.

Ben Charnley returns at lock after injury and Sam Ackers joins the back row.

Kendal, third in North One West, a point behind Vale after two victories, host promoted Bolton, who have one home win and one away defeat to date.

There’s a big National One clash in prospect at Ansdell, where leaders Fylde host third-place Rosslyn Park.

Only points difference separates clubs which have both started with victories at home and away.

Fylde have had two convincing wins –31-16 against Blackheath and a thumping 47-0 rout at Macclesfield – while the Londoners have been involved in much tighter affairs.

Simon Griffiths replaces the injured Dan Birchall at prop, Paul Arnold comes into the second row and Sam Beaumont switches to No.8 in place of David Fairbrother, who is away on duty with the armed forces.

Prop Colin Phillips, on loan from Doncaster, is on the bench, along with utility back Richard Kenyon.

Hoppers: Embleton; Allern, Baines, Ward, Kendall; Davies, Kindred; Madden, Tuff, Altham, Tomlinson, Murray, Lees. Walker, Taylor. Replacements: Mills, Irving, Morton, Whyte, Hurst.

Vale: Ball; Macluskie, Bird, Dorrington, Haigh; Lomas, Dobson; Hesketh, Berry, Moreira, Charnley, Fellows, D Baines, Ackers, Wallbank.

Fylde: Spragg; Dorrington, Briers, S Rawlings, Brennand; Johnson, de la Harpe; Griffiths, Burtonwood, Lewis, Arnold, G Rawlings, Vernon, Stewart, Beaumont. Replacements: Phillips, Maher, Robinson, Kenyon, Banks.