Preview: Harriers v Alfreton Town
Harriers return to Aggborough this afternoon still smarting from last weekend's defeat at Salford and in need of a victory.
Last weekend's defeat ended a brief two-game winning streak for Harriers and left them sitting in mid-table rather than amongst the early challengers. A win is needed this afternoon to lift them back up the table ahead of Monday's trip to early leaders Brackley.
John Eustace may make changes to the side after last weekend's disappointment at Salford; the likes of Andre Brown and Sam Austin will be pushing for starts while Dan Bradley who will be facing one of his former clubs - as is Joe Ironside - and Elton Ngwatala continue to get closer to full fitness and, therefore, full effectiveness. On the treatment table are Lee Vaughan who continues to recover from a broken leg and Liam Truslove who still has the knee injury that has kept him out of the last two games. Tom Palmer won't feature as he has gone out on loan for a month to Harriers' erstwhile tenants.
Alfreton have had a mixed start to the season and currently sit one place behind Harriers due to a worse goal difference. They have won twice so far beating Blyth and North Ferriby at home while last time out they were beaten at home by Southport; they have lost both away games so far, at Darlington and Boston, conceding seven goals and scoring just two. As a result of their woes in front of goal manager John McDermott has this week brought in two strikers, signing Brendon Daniels from AFC Fylde and Ricky German on loan from Chesterfield. For the sixth time this season Harriers' opponents will feature a former Harrier, this time in the shape of one-time trialist Craig Westcarr.
Last season this fixture ended in a 3-0 win for Harriers with goals from James McQuilkin, Truslove and Tyrell Waite. Overall Harriers have a good record against Alfreton with six wins to three from the eleven games played.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hall; Williams, Taylor, Daly, Digie; Croasdale, McQuilkin, Ngwatala; Sonupe, Ironside, Bradley.
Subs (from): Austin, A. Brown, Joachim, Keane, Nti, Webb, Weeks.
Missing (injured): Truslove, Vaughan.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Clarke, Palmer.
This afternoon's referee is Scott Simpson from Stoke-on-Trent who will be taking charge of a Harriers game for the first time.
The weather forecast for kick-off time suggests that it will be mostly cloudy with a temperature of 21°C and no chance of rain.