Preview: Harriers v Chester
There's a place in the First Round of the FA Cup up for grabs this afternoon as Harriers face Chester at Aggborough.
After two trips to lower level opposition in the previous two rounds Harriers now have their toughest test facing a side from the division above, facing a Chester side under new management in the shape of former Harrier Marcus Bignot.
With just one defeat in the last eight games and unbeaten at home since the Opening Day defeat against Chorley Harriers go into the game coming into form; John Eustace hopes to have an almost full squad to choose from, apart from long-term absentees Lee Vaughan and Liam Truslove, with James Pearson and Dan Bradley looking close to fitness and able to feature in some way.
Chester have had a torrid time of it so far this season with just two wins, the most recent of those being a 2-0 win over Maidenhead in Bignot's first game in charge which was also their first home win of 2017. Since that first win under the new manager though, they have since lost 2-0 at home to Woking and drawn 0-0 at Tranmere, meaning that they have failed to score in three of their last four games. As well as Bignot there are other Harriers connections with Tom Shaw, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and Harry White all in the squad.
The last time the sides met goals from Arthur Gnahoua and Harry White gave Harriers a 2-2 draw. In games against Chester Harriers have won just one and drawn three from six encounters to go with three defeats from three games when Chester were under their former guise of Chester City.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hall; Williams, Taylor, O'Connor, Horsfall; Croasdale, McQuilkin, Ngwatala; Sonupe, Ironside, Wright.
Subs (from): Austin, Bradley, A. Brown, Digie, Finch, Pearson, Webb, Weeks.
Missing (injured): Truslove, Vaughan.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Clarke, Palmer.
Refereeing the game today will be Paul Marsden from Lancashire. This will be his third time in charge of a Harriers game having done last season's win at Harrogate and defeat at Stalybridge.
The weather this afternoon is forecast to be mostly sunny with a temperature around 20°C and no chance of rain.