Back to action for Grasshoppers after a blank weekend

Hoppers head coach Paul Arnold
Hoppers head coach Paul Arnold

After last weekend’s almost total “white-out”, it’s back to business in the promotion quests by Preston Grasshoppers and Vale of Lune.

Not a fixture was fulfilled in the North Premier League last Saturday, so it’s “as you were” in the table as leaders Hoppers prepare to welcome second-placed Harrogate to Lightfoot Green.

Loan signing Louis McGowan is unavailable, so Hoppers player/head coach Paul Arnold comes back at lock, with James Fitzpatrick returning at centre.

Hoping to make his delayed debut is winger Rob Meadows, a former Hoppers Colt who has been playing rugby league with Wigan St Pat’s.

Vale makes their first “overseas” league trip when they visit Douglas in the Isle of Man in North One West.

Evan Stewart, Jack Sadler, Jonty Higgin and Chris Ramwell are all unable to make the trip for leaders Vale but backs Jordan Dorrington and Damon Hall return after missing three and four games respectively.

Fylde enter the last-chance saloon in National League One when they head for Blackheath.

Hoppers: Jordan; Meadows, Stott, Fitzpatrick, Crosley; Ward, Squirrell; Mabaya, Millea, Altham, Roddy, Arnold, A Murray, Trippier, Lamprey. Replacements: Madden, Gale, M Murray.

Vale: J Dorrington; Jacques, B Dorrington, Owens, Hall; Turton, Swarbrick; Ferguson, Powers, Pillow, Fellows, Rainford, Cvijanovic, Ayrton, Wallbank. Replacements: Stephens. Foxcroft, Finan.

Meanwhile, England Rugby is holding a masterclass at Preston’s Lightfoot Green on Friday, April 13 (7pm-9pm) with England forwards coach and ex-Hoppers star Steve Borthwick.

Spaces are limited to 100 and the event is already being booked up quickly.