Tommo is back as Hoppers seek lift

Reece Tomlinson
Reece Tomlinson
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Two out-of-form teams clash in National League Two North at Lightfoot Green tomorrow, when 10th-placed Preston Grasshoppers host Huddersfield, one place and two points below them.

Hoppers have just one win in their last five outings, while the Yorkshiremen’s recent results feature one draw and three defeats.

In total, Huddersfield, who won promotion last season, have won four, drawn two (both at home) and lost seven.

Away from home, their only victory in six attempts was back on October 4 at Leicester Lions. They have collected six bonus points to Hoppers’ eight.

Preston have managed just three victories in seven home games and overall have five wins and eight defeats.

Reece Tomlinson returns at lock for Hoppers and there is a shuffle in the threequarters, where Billy Woof comes in at centre and skipper Phil Baines moves out onto the wing.

There will be a late decision on the make-up of the bench, pending fitness checks on a couple of players.

After the anguish of last Saturday’s abandoned game due to a serious-looking injury to winger James Curran, Vale of Lune find themselves in seventh place in North One West, rather than the fifth spot they would have occupied had the 17-15 scoreline in their favour stodd when the game was halted after 59 minutes.

However, the authorities have decreed that the match must be restaged on January 24 – the first available free date.

Happily, Curran was eventually diagnosed with a trapped nerve and released from hospital.

Tomorrow, Vale visit Warrington, one place and one point below them.

With the Widnes game cancelled out, Vale have six victories and five defeats so far, with just one win out of five on the road.

Naturally, Curran is not in this weekend’s side, so there is a debut on the wing for last year’s colts captain Matty Humpage and a place in the threequarters for regular second-teamer Jamie Antcliffe.

Rob Lamberton moves to full-back and James Birchall to centre.

In the same league, third-placed Kendal visit struggling Eccles, who have won just twice in 12 attempts – remarkably, both away from their home patch, where they have lost all five. With just two bonus points to boot, they are next to bottom.

Kendal will be seeking to end a run of three successive away defeats after winning their first two.

Fylde have lost their last two away games in National One and it gets no easier tomorrow when they travel to Coventry.

Greg Nicholls will come in on the bench as scrum-half cover but, with lock Gareth Rawlings handed a four-match ban for his recent red card, the Fylde starting line-up is likely to remain unchanged from last weekend.

Hoppers: A Murray; Jordan, Russell, Woof, Baines; Allen, Whyte; Mabaya, Mills, Altham, Tomlinson, A Murray, Napier, Lees, Taylor. Replacements (from) Peterson, McGuinness, Tuff, Holmes, Walker, Kindred, Reddick

Vale: Lamberton; Birchall, Antcliffe, Dorrington, Humpage; Walker, Swarbrick; Hesketh, D Baines, Pillow, Randall, Barker, A Baines, Garnett, Wallbank. Replacements: Charnley, McLaren-Dorrington, Ayrton

Fylde (probable): Spragg; Dorrington, Briers, S Rawlings, Brennand; Johnson, de la Harpe; Birchall, Maher, Lewis, Arnold, Robinson, Vernon, Stewart, Beaumont. Replacements: Griffiths, Burtonwood, Goodman, Kenyon, Nicholls