Preston Grasshoppers aiming to do a double ‘double’ this weekend

Scott Jordan switches to full-back this weekend (photo: Mike Craig)
Scott Jordan switches to full-back this weekend (photo: Mike Craig)

Having waited so long to record their first “double” of the season last Saturday, Preston Grasshoppers have an immediate opportunity to do it again tomorrow when they travel to Macclesfield.

This is a rearranged fixture from the first weekend in February, when six of the eight scheduled National League Two North games fell victim to the weather.

Buoyed by their success at Sheffield Tigers last week, Hoppers will be looking to repeat October’s home win over struggling Macclesfield, in which they took a 19-6 lead early in the second half but squandered chances before eventually edging home 19-11.

Macclesfield are currently on a seven-match losing streak, but all four of their victories (in 22 games) have come on their own patch.

Hoppers have now won 10 and lost 12 to remain ninth in the table.

But they are only three points behind sixth-placed Hinckley and 22 points clear of the relegation zone.

Four of their last seven games are against teams in the leading seven, including the present top two, Hull Ionians and Chester.

Two regular members of the Hoppers line-up are missing this weekend – for the best of reasons.

Flanker Teddy Leatherbarrow is in the Scots Under-20s squad against their French counterparts, while centre Sam Stott captains Lancashire Under-20s 
against Yorkshire at Lightfoot Green on Sunday (kick-off 2.15pm).

There is a debut on the wing for Alex Jobson, with Scott Jordan switching to full-back, while Ryan Carlson moves from lock to the back row, with Luke Procter starting in the second row and player/coach Paul Arnold bringing himself back on to the bench.

Fylde were one of only four clubs to see their fixtures beat the weather on February 2, so have a weekend off.

Last Saturday’s defeat at Ionians dropped them back to fourth, two points behind the leaders, with all three clubs above them playing rearranged fixtures tomorrow.

It is also a blank weekend for Vale of Lune in the 
North Premier League as time runs out on their survival mission.

Hoppers: Jordan; Spence, Hurst, Fitzpatrick, Jobson; Davidson, Gough; Miller, Millea, Altham,Howard, Procter, Murray, Carlson, Lamprey. Replacements: Sloane, Trippier, Arnold, Trueman, Pope.