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Vics v Stamford: preview
Northwich Victoria v Stamford (Kick off 3pm)
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South
Venue Stafford Rangers FC, Marston Road, Stafford, ST16 3BX
Referee Bob Roberts (Leyland)
Admission Adults £7, Concessions (OAP) £5, Children £2
Odds (bwin.com) Vics 15/13, Draw 19/10, Stamford 23/10
Previous meeting n/a
NORTHWICH Victoria start life at the lowest level in the club’s history playing host at a rivals’ ground more than 40 miles away from town.
None of the players that played in Vics’ last match in the Premier Division in April have stayed at the club following its forced demotion.
Manager Andy Mutch picks a team for the first time since his appointment, although he is likely to be without first choice goalkeeper Ryan Robinson through injury.
Shot-stopper David Spotswood, signed earlier this week from Vauxhall Motors, is expected to start.
Wingers Lee Dodgson and Ross Farran have both featured in Northwich colours previously, the former making a single start in the Evo-Stik League Challenge Cup in February last year.
Meanwhile Farran was twice used as a substitute in Vics’ final season in the Football Conference top tier back in 2009.
Visitors Stamford placed seventh in Division One South last term, prompting them to appoint popular former manager Graham Drury for a second time this summer.
He told the Rutland and Stamford Mercury on Friday that Vics were favourites to finish first despite starting the season with a completely new team.
He said: “Playing the title favourites in your first game is not the easiest start, and I expect a tough test.
“We will have to use possession well and may have to play on the counter.”
Midfield pair Jake Gibson and Jack McGovern are expected to feature after overcoming injuries although Bruno Holden, who led the Daniels’ attack last term, has joined higher-ranked Worksop Town.