Hednesford Town travel to Frickley Athletic on Saturday hot on the tails of leaders North Ferriby United who, despite leading The Pitmen by nine points just three weeks ago, are now a solitary point ahead with Hednesford having played two games fewer.
Rob Smith’s in-form team beat FC United of Manchester for the first time in five attempts last Saturday and are unbeaten in 10 away league fixtures this season.
Smith, however, stressed in mid-week that there are no easy games in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division and Frickley is one of the more difficult away trips of the season.
“All games in this league bring their own challenges with different pitches, local derbies or teams scrapping for points. I honestly believe the games against the bottom sides are as hard as the ones against the top sides.”
Hednesford had a well earned rest from competitive action in midweek, having played two games a week for four straight weeks, but their Yorkshire hosts should be itching to play as bad weather and postponements have meant they haven’t fulfilled a fixture since a 2-1 defeat to Grantham on Saturday November 24th.
Club Captain Darren Campion, so vital to Hednesford’s shape in defence, is missing through suspension with Sam Craven most likely to deputise at left-back but, Campion apart, Smith has a full squad to choose from.
Elliott Durrell, growing into a vital role in the team after injury struggles over the past couple of seasons, will be gunning for his 18th goal of the season and is on an outstanding run of successful penalty kicks – converting five in the last four matches.
The last two meetings at the Tech5 Stadium have resulted in the points being shared between the two teams but Hednesford will know that a fifth straight league win is vital to continue their pursuit of North Ferriby at the top.
Pitmen Form – WLWWWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 1 FC United of Manchester 0 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 8th December
Next Fixture – Blyth Spartans (H) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 22nd December
League Position – 2nd
Frickley Athletic Form – LWWLDL
Previous Result – Grantham Town 2 Frickley Athletic 1- Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 24th November
Next Fixture – Marine (A) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 22nd December
League Position – 19th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Westfield Lane, South Elmsall, West Yorkshire, WF9 2EQ