WITTON Albion head into a crunch clash with FC United of Manchester on the back of an exit from the Integro Sport League Cup at lower league Newcastle Town.

Albion, who secured a fine 4-1 league win at Mickleover Sports on Saturday, featured six changes in their starting line-up as they fell to a 1-0 loss on Tuesday.

One of those was Matty Coughlan, a defensive midfielder who has returned to Witton from Skelmersdale United on dual registration after departing 11 months ago.

He also has history with Bolton Wanderers, Salford City, Burscough and the Robbie Fowler Football Academy in Liverpool.

The winning goal was scored in the 64th minute courtesy of Harvey Howell, but the first-round contest was soured by a serious looking ankle injury for 18-year-old defender Stef Sorensen, who was taken to hospital.

Middlewich resident Sorensen, whose previous clubs include Port Vale, Bury and Crewe Alexandra, graduated through the Albion Academy set-up to get his first-team opportunity this season.

With goalkeeper Chris Renshaw, Isaac Baldwin, Josh Wardle, Liam Goulding, Danny McKenna and Billy Smart all missing from the starting line-up on Tuesday, changes are expected for Saturday's visit by FC United – who are enjoying a good run of form.

United, currently in the final play-off position on the same number of points as sixth-placed Witton, have taken four wins and a draw from their last five matches.

They booked a place in the semi-finals of the Manchester Premier Cup on Tuesday thanks to a 3-0 win at Hyde United.