Preston Grasshoppers looking to make it three straight wins when South Leicester come to town

As the National League Two North season hits the halfway point tomorrow, Preston Grasshoppers seek a third successive win for the first time in the campaign.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14th December 2018, 7:54 am
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 8:58 am
James Gough in action for Preston Grasshoppers
James Gough in action for Preston Grasshoppers

South Leicester, third from bottom, are the visitors to Lightfoot Green, before Hoppers end 2018 with the “derby day” visit to Fylde next Saturday.

South Leicester have won four and drawn one of their 14 games, and have lost their last four matches on the road after starting with a draw and victory in their opening away fixtures.

Eighth-placed Hoppers have won their last four at home. The clubs’ only previous meetings were three season ago.

Hoppers make a couple of changes to the starting line-up. With Sam Stott suspended following last Saturday’s red card, James Fitzpatrick returns at centre, while Adam Howard starts in the back row and Jack Edwards drops to the bench.

Also back among the replacements are Noah Miller, Olly Trippier and Alex Ward.

Fylde, unbeaten in their last five games (including last week’s draw with leaders Hull Ionians), visit NorthWest rivals Sedgley Park, who are seventh, three points and two places behind Fylde. The Tigers have won seven and lost seven, with five victories out of six at home. Fylde have eight wins, one draw and five defeats.

There’s a clash of the bottom two in the North Premier League when 13th-placed Vale of Lune travel to Wilmslow for a 2.15 kick-off.

The Cheshire side has won just once in 13 games - crucially for tomorrow’s fixture, that was by 27-19 at Powderhouse Lane in September.

Vale have five points more than Wilmslow after one win, one draw and 11 defeats. Their backs are unchanged tomorrow, but there’s a switch-round in the pack.

To’i Aulitia makes his first start at prop, with James Hesketh moving to hooker and Andy Powers going into the back row as Jonty Higgin Is unavailable.

Dan Rainford comes in at lock, with Harry Fellows on the bench.

Hoppers: Cave; Trueman, Crow, Fitzpatrick, Spence; Davidson, Gough; Mabaya, Millea, Altham, Roddy, Procter, Howard, Murray, Lamprey. Replacements: Miller, Trippier, Edwards, Squirrell, Ward.

Vale: Ramwell; Hall, J Dorrington, Owens, Jacques; B Dorrington, Swarbrick; Pillow, Hesketh, Aulitia, Rainford, Robinson, Powers, Ayrton, Wallbank. Replacements: Fellows, Fourie, Steele.