Why should I watch..?

To see if Witton Albion can close a gap to the promotion play-offs places in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight.

Carl Macauley’s men have an added incentive as well with the four teams immediately above them in the table – Barwell, Workington, Farsley Celtic and Hednesford – playing each other this weekend.

A distance to fifth-placed Ashton United is five points at the start of tomorrow’s game.

Stourbridge travel north buoyed by an improved performance during a 1-1 draw with Shaw Lane last weekend, and they followed that with a victory in the Birmingham FA Senior Cup on Monday.

They have lost six of their past seven Premier Division games away from home though, and won only twice since a stalemate with Witton in the return game at the start of November.

What they’ve said

“For me, Stourbridge’s position in the table is a false one and they’re a much stronger side than the standings suggest.

“We’re not fooled by that, and we’re expected a difficult afternoon.

“However they can expect the same from us; we’re disappointed not to have held on against Grantham last weekend, and we’re determined to avoid the same thing happening.”

Gary Martindale, Witton Albion assistant manager

“The players came out of the game against Shaw Lane with a lot of credit and we now need to maintain those levels.

“The only thing missing was that we weren’t clinical enough.”

“It was difficult when we played Witton at our place, so we can expect another tough tes.”.

Jon Ford, Stourbridge assistant manager

Numbers game

Witton have lost only one of their past eight Northern Premier League matches, and are unbeaten since a 2-1 reverse against Warrington on Boxing Day

Witton team news

Nick Ryan is available for the first time since fracturing his jaw in a win at Sutton Coldfield before Christmas.

The hosts will also be able to call again on Prince Haywood after work commitments prevented him from travelling to Grantham last weekend, while goalkeeper Calvin Hare, midfielder Tom Owens and leading goal-scorer Steven Tames all face late fitness tests.

Stourbridge team news

Midfielder Leon Broadhurst (Achilles) is a doubt after sustaining an injury during a 3-2 win against Coleshill Town in the Birmingham FA Senior Cup on Monday.

Matt Dodd may come into contention after returning to training.

However striker Kyle Perry won’t feature after completing a transfer back to Stafford Rangers.

Man to keep an eye on

James Foley

Has quietly established himself as an integral part of Witton Albion’s midfield since a summer switch from Marine, and has started every Premier Division fixture since making his debut as a substitute at Mickleover Sports on the season’s opening day.

The 24-year-old is arguably in his best form of the campaign too, and followed a goal in a 4-1 win against Nantwich a fortnight ago with another impressive performance during last weekend’s draw at Grantham.

Form guide (past six in league)

Witton D W D W D L

Stourbridge D L L D W W

Most recent meetings

Stourbridge 0-0 Witton (NPL Premier, November 4 2017)

Witton 2-1 Stourbridge (NPL Premier, March 3 2015)

Stourbridge 3-0 Witton (NPL Premier, January 3 2015)

Remember when…?

Stourbridge visited Wincham Park for the first time almost three years ago?

Albion climbed from the Premier Division table’s relegation zone following a 2-1 victory secured thanks to first-half goals from Jamie Rainford and Alex Titchiner – the latter ending a wait to find the net that started more than three months earlier.

Stour rallied after the interval, and halved their arrears when substitute Kayeldon Brown sent an angled finish past goalkeeper Andy Robertson.

Reece Hales was sent off for the Glassboys when he shoved Joe Shaw to the floor, but the visitors still made their hosts sweat in the time remaining.

The Guardian was there, and this is how we reported it:


Witton 11/8

Draw 5/2

Stourbridge 7/5

Essential information

When Saturday, February 10

Kick-off 3pm

Address Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham, Northwich CW9 6DA

Admission Adults £10, Concessions (OAP/Students) £7, Under 18s £3, Members of HM Armed Forces Free

Parking Free at the ground