Trio of defeats a big worry for Preston Grasshoppers coach Paul Arnold

Action from Hoppers' recent defeat against Huddersfield (photo: Mike Craig)
Action from Hoppers' recent defeat against Huddersfield (photo: Mike Craig)

Preston Grasshoppers bid to stop the rot of three successive defeats, which have seen them slip from fifth to 12th in National League Two North, when Stourbridge visit Lightfoot Green on Saturday.

Hoppers have now lost four and drawn one of their seven games as they prepare to face a Stourbridge side which sits fourth in the table.

The Midlanders have won four, including two out of three away from home, and lost three.

They were in this part of the world only a fortnight ago, when they went down 
41-19 at Fylde.

Hoppers will perhaps take some comfort from last season’s two clashes with Stourbridge, both of which Paul Arnold’s men won by six points in high-scoring encounters, 38-32 and 
40-34.

With late fitness checks again needed, Hoppers have named a squad of 20, which includes the return of flyhalf Joe Prior.

Fylde remain just a point behind Two North leaders Caldy as they get ready to welcome Chester to Ansdell.

The Cheshire club are ninth after three victories and four defeats, including losses in their last two outings. Fylde are still unbeaten, with six wins and a draw.

Oddly, both meetings last season favoured the away sides, Fylde losing 19-27 at home but winning 16-7 in Chester.

Vale of Lune’s visit to Broughton Park in North One West brings together two sides which have both won three out of seven.

Vale have the edge in the table thanks to three more bonus points and lie ninth to Park’s 11th.

When the clubs last met in the 2015/16 season, Park lost both games.

Tomorrow, Vale are without scrum-half Billy Swarbrick, whose place is taken by Henry Higginson.

Ethan Robertson returns at centre, Luke Ford comes into the second row and Andy Powers switches back 
from the threequarters to flanker.

Will Hunt is on the bench after serving his three-match ban.

Hoppers (from): J Dorrington, Spence, Hurst, Crow, Gregson, Fitzpatrick, Jordan, B Dorrington, Prior, Squirrell; Blanchard, Millea, Taylor, Milller, Purcell, Howard, Procter, Carlson, Harrison, Lamprey.

Vale: S Manning; Fern, Forrest, Robertson, Eastwood; Briggs, Higginson; Brandford, Dokter, Pillow, Fellows, Ford, Powers, Ayrton, Robinson. Replacements: Hesketh, Tagg, Hunt.