Revenge mission ahead for Preston Grasshoppers

PJ Millea is back for Preston
PJ Millea is back for Preston

The first fixtures of 2019 bring Preston Grasshoppers and Vale of Lune the chance to avenge narrow away defeats in September.

Hoppers welcome Huddersfield to Lightfoot Green after an agonising 28-27 loss in Yorkshire in the third game of the campaign.

Huddersfield are currently fifth in National League Two North, following nine victories, a draw and five defeats.

They had a mixed December with one win, one loss, one draw (at Fylde) and one postponement. Three of their five losses have been on the road and they are five points ahead of tomorrow’s hosts.

Hoppers lie eighth in the table after their seven victories out of 16. They have won their last five at home and six out of seven there overall.

They will be keen to get back to winning ways after the pre-Christmas defeat at Fylde ended a three-match run of success.

Coach Paul Arnold has selection headaches of the good and bad type – one or two fitness checks, but also players available again, including skipper PJ Millea and Sale Sharks dual-registered duo Nathan Pope and Teddy Leatherbarrow.

Ryan Carlson, back-five forward of South African descent, is also in the squad for the first time, with Arnold due to select from a pool of 22.

Fylde, now third in the table, travel to Macclesfield, who are next to bottom after four wins – all at home – and 12 defeats.

Fylde’s unbeaten run extends all the way back to October 27th – six wins and that draw with Huddersfield – and they had a comprehensive 46-8 victory at Maccledfield in September.

In the North Premier League, Kendal make the short trip down the M6 to Vale of Lune for a clash of the sides sitting immediately above bottom club Wilmslow.

Vale will choose their 
starting line-up from the 
same 18 who did duty three weeks ago in the draw at Wilmslow.

Hoppers (from): Pope, Trueman, Crow, Stott, Fitzpatrick, Spence, Ward, Davidson, Gough; Mabaya, Millea, Johnson, Purcell, Altham, Howard, Procter, Roddy, Carlson, Murray, Leatherbarrow, Edwards, Lamprey.

Vale (from): Ramwell, J Dorrington, Hall, Owens, Jacques, Steele, B Dorrington, Swarbrick; Pillow, Powers, Hesketh, Aualitia, Roboinson, Fellows, Rainford, Fourie, Ayrton, Wallbank.