The FA Cup goes on the back-burner for a short spell as League business takes centre stage again. There are a number of high profile games this weekend as the overall structure of the table starts to take shape.
It’s top Vs vottom Congleton take on Ashton Athletic at the Cheshire Silk 106.9 Stadium. Congleton took advantage of many teams being tied up in cup action last weekend to climb to the summit. They may well fancy their chances this weekend against an Ashton Athletic side who have struggled to get going in the league so far this campaign, but it would be a big statement if this was the weekend that they really started climbing.
It’s a big week for the Premier Division as a number of clubs near the top of the table face each other and some may start cancelling each other out. Two other clubs unbeaten in the Division meet at The Silentnight Stadium as second placed Barnoldswick host Macclesfield FC. Both of these sides have had a good start to their respective seasons, Barnoldswick keeping a close eye on the top and have scored nineteen times in their last four games in all competitions and will be buoyed by their win over Ramsbottom in the cup last weekend. Macclesfield maybe not too keen to reflect on their cup exploits this season but they’re still finding their feet and undoubtedly will have their day in the FA Cup soon. They, like Barlick’ have their eyes on the summit and they can do themselves a huge favour if they defeat one of their early title rivals.
The other unbeaten side in the Division are Lower Breck travel to Ericstan Park to take on third placed Wythenshawe Town. This is a cracking looking battle on paper with Breck travelling well so far this season but on the flip side of that, Town aren’t too shabby at home either. A great one for the neutrals as they say!
It’s a big week for those near the wrong end of the table too, Prestwich Heys take on high-flying Winsford United at Adie Moran Park looking to haul themselves away from the drop zone. Such is the way the Division has gone this season that those at the bottom will find a win could only lift them a place or two but that also indicates how tough it will be for those who start to drift off behind to get back on their feet.
Litherland Remyca in nineteenth host seventeenth placed Squires Gate at Litherland Sports Park this weekend with both keen to get clear of any bother, neither side having recorded a league win as yet, despite good performances.
Its unusual to see Irlam struggle in early season but their eighteenth position in the table suggests that they have had a tough start, just like their opponents this weekend as Runcorn Town are the visitors to the RG3 Digital Stadium. Padiham travel to Wincham Park to take on Northwich Victoria needing a win to lift them up into the chasing pack which is where The Trickies currently sit. Northwich will be keen to keep the pressure on the sides above them and keen to make home advantage count.
AFC Liverpool make the journey back to their home digs having had to play a couple of games at Skelmersdale United’s One Call Stadium due to pitch works needing to take place. The Marine Travel Arena looks in good fettle now though and Longridge Town are the first opponents AFC Liverpool will face on the pristine surface at Crosby.
I mentioned Skem there, they travel to the vanEupen Arena to take on Vauxhall Motors this Saturday. Both of these sides it in mid-table on six points but a good win for either of these could lift them as high as the top six depending on other results.
Avro welcome Charnock Richard to the Vestacare, these teams know where the goal is, Avro having scored seven in their last three league games and Charnock Richard having netted 15 times in their last three home games. The latter also having bagged five in their midweek FA Cup replay win over Eccleshill.
So there you have it, the runners and riders for this weekend, if you are at a game, stay safe. The games come thick and fast at this point in the season but it’s great to be talking about football again.