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Matlock v Witton: preview
Matlock Town v Witton Albion (Kick off 3pm)
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division
Venue Causeway Lane, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3AR
Referee Stuart Eagland (Lichfield)
Admission Adults £9, Concessions (NUS/OAP/U18s) £5.50, Accompanied U15s £2
Odds (bet365) Matlock 13/8, Draw 13/5, Witton 6/5
Previous meeting Matlock 1 Witton 0 (Northern Premier League Premier Division, March 21 2009)
Matlock (from) Buxton (GK), Kennedy (GK), Dennis, Featherstone, Gaughan, Laight, Lukic, Yates, Ashmore, Davies, Martin Foster, Hindley, Travis, Grayson, Griffith junior, Leesley, McDonald, White
Injured McMahon (ankle), Radford (shin)
Suspended Harcourt (three matches)
Disciplinary (up to end of January) Y44 R3
Top scorer Lewis McMahon (19)
Form (Past six home in league) D W D L L W
Record (home) P12 W3 D3 L6 F16 A25 Pts12
Record (overall) Pos16 P26 W9 D5 L12 F40 A51 Pts32
Witton (from) Cooper (GK), Plant (GK), Gardner, Glover, Ben Harrison, Meadowcroft, Wood, Andrews, Hancock, James, Powell, Shaw, Sheehan, Steve Foster, Moseley, Tuck
Doubtful Cooper (thigh)
Injured Clayton (knee)
Disciplinary (up to end of January) Y31 R2
Top scorer Shaun Tuck (20)
Title odds (bet365) 66/1
Form (Past six away in league) W L D W W W
Record (away) P13 W7 D3 L3 F28 A21 Pts24
Record (overall) Pos7 P27 W13 D6 L8 F55 A44 Pts45
IMPROVING Witton Albion will target a return to the Premier Division’s play-offs positions when they visit Matlock this weekend.
Brian Pritchard’s men made it three successive wins in all competitions when sending out FC United of Manchester from the Doodson Sport Cup in midweek, although they slipped to seventh in the standings the same evening following Rushall’s defeat of Nantwich.
The visitors have a selection dilemma following top scorer Shaun Tuck’s double against the Rebels, while Josh Hancock is ready to return after being rested.
Goalkeeper Matt Cooper (thigh) is unlikely to feature, while Adam Clayton (knee) is ruled out too.
Witton have yet to lose on their travels against a team in the bottom half of the table this term, winning four of five games while scoring 16 goals.
The visitors will hope to start better than they have in recent weeks, conceding the first goal in five of their past seven competitive matches.
Hosts Matlock are unbeaten in their past seven outings in league and cup, including their past four Premier Division fixtures.
Manager Mark Atkins will be forced to make at least two changes to the team that started last weekend’s win at Nantwich, for full back Mickey Harcourt starts a three-match suspension.
Fellow defender Oscar Radford (shin) misses out as well.
New recruit Lavell White, signed this week from strugglers Eastwood Town, could make his debut for a Gladiators team that has scored fewest goals – 16 – in front of its own fans in the division with the exception of the rock-bottom Badgers.
Matlock have beaten Witton only once in their past five visits to Causeway Lane to play a league match, although that was last time out back in March 2009.