Pitch inspection

Why should I watch..?

To see if 1874 Northwich can continue to close a gap to the teams above them in the table by extending a winning sequence in the North West Counties League’s Premier Division to nine matches.

They will be favourites to do so against lowly AFC Darwen, who sit bottom of the form table after losing nine successive games.

The Salmoners remain without a manager since Mark Patterson resigned as manager in December, and haven’t won a league game since beating Barnoldswick 1-0 on September 5.

What they’ve said

“We can’t let our standards slip, and if we turn up expecting to win easily then we may be in for a surprise.

“I felt that crept into our performance at Maine Road last month, and it almost proved costly.

“We have to do our job properly if we’re to collect maximum points on Saturday.”

Wayne Goodison, 1874 Northwich co-manager

Numbers game

Darwen have lost their past 11 games in all competitions, and their past nine in the North West Counties League

Man to keep an eye on

Ryan Jackson

With Taylor Kennerley ruled out, the winger may have an opportunity to impress management duo Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison.

His cameo as a substitute against Chichester last weekend was an impactful one, and his direct dribbling and powerful running pepped up 1874’s attack.

If they are beat Darwen, who are in wretched form, their forward players must step up.

1874 team news

Taylor Kennerley (foot) is ruled out by an injury sustained during last Saturday’s FA Vase success against Chichester City.

However attacker Sam Hind (hip) has returned to training this week after missing the same game.

Meanwhile striker Kyle Riley returns after completing a three-match suspension.

1874 announced on Thursday they had completed the transfer of midfielder Sam Freakes from Abbey Hey, while attacker Derice Richards has joined too from Alsager.

Form guide (past six in league)

Darwen L L L L L L

1874 W W W W W W

Most recent meetings

Darwen 1-3 1874 (NWCFL Premier Division, April 22 2017)

1874 3-0 Darwen (NWCFL Premier Division, August 27 2016)

1874 2-3 Darwen (NWCFL Premier Division, April 12 2016)

Essential information

When Saturday, February 10

Kick-off 3pm

Address WEC Group Anchor Ground, Anchor Road, Darwen, Lancashire BB3 0BB

Admission Adults £5, Concessions £3, Accompanied under 16s Free

Parking Available at Crown Paints adjacent to the ground