Why should I watch..?

To see how Witton respond to successive defeats in the past week, at Ashton last weekend and then at home to lowly Halesowen on Tuesday.

Albion were punished for mistakes in defence by the Yeltz, for whom Lee Hughes scored a decisive goal in the third minute of added time.

It means Carl Macauley’s men start the weekend seventh in the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division table, three points adrift of a promotion play-offs place.

Hednesford Town, their guests on Saturday, are three points further back in eighth.

Rob Smith’s men have fallen from contention following a single victory in their past eight league games, although they travel up the M6 boosted by an emphatic midweek victory against Basford United in the Integro League Cup.

What they’ve said

“We have to regroup, we know that, and it’s important we put behind us quickly the past couple of results.

“It’s not all over, not by a long way, and I expect there to be plenty more twists and turns.

“Nothing changes for us; we knew we’d probably need to beat Hednesford, and that’s the position we find ourselves in.”

Carl Macauley, Witton Albion manager

“The past couple of matches have seen us put in some real fight and come away with a deserved point last weekend against Buxton and an excellent victory over Basford [in the Integro League Cup].

“I thought the players went about their jobs well in both games and they’ll need to be on the front foot again when we come up against a Witton side that still has play-off ambitions.”

Rob Smith, Hednesford Town manager

Numbers game

Witton won the first three meetings between the teams in the Northern Premier League. However six games have passed since without Albion collecting maximum points

Witton team news

Carl Macauley is hoping to receive a boost from Crewe Alexandra with regards to the fitness of on-loan winger Owen Dale, who has missed the past three games through injury.

River Humphreys is likely to be recalled after work commitments prevented him from starting a defeat in midweek against Halesowen.

Hednesford team news

Jordan Graham has been recalled by parent club Mansfield Town following a successful temporary stay.

Coincidentally, he made his debut for the Pitmen as a second-half substitute during the return meeting with Witton in October.

James Fitzgibbon (back) hasn’t played at all since a 2-0 defeat at home to Warrington last month, while an injury sustained by Sam Oji late on at Buxton last weekend ruled him out of a midweek knockout success against Basford.

Man to keep an eye on

James Foley

If Owen Dale is passed fit, then he should resume a role in the centre of midfield that has seen him excel this season.

It would also give Witton a boost of energy in that part of the pitch following tired performances in the past week that have led to defeats against Ashton and Halesowen.

Form guide (past six in league)

Witton L L W W W W

Hednesford D L W L L D

Most recent meetings

Hednesford 1-0 Witton (NPL Premier Division, October 7 2017)

Witton 1-1 Hednesford (NPL Premier Division, March 2 2013)

Hednesford 2-1 Witton (NPL Premier Division, October 23 2012)

Remember when…?

Hednesford Town last visited Wincham Park for a league fixture?

Both teams ended an entertaining contest with 10 men, and a share of the spoils too following a 1-1 draw.

The Pitmen dominated an opening period during which Danny Meadowcroft was dismissed for hauling back Neil Harvey as he threatened to run clear on goal.

However Witton held out, and Darren Campion was shown a red card after the interval for a reckless tackle on Steve Foster.

The goals arrived during a frantic finish; Anthony Gardner converted a penalty for the home team before Ben Bailey – who had committed a foul to concede the spot-kick – replied at the other end.

The Guardian was there, and this is how we saw it: Witton 1-1 Hednesford: match report

Odds (bet365)

Witton 5/6

Draw 14/5

Hednesford 9/4

Essential information

When Saturday, March 31

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