Preview: Harriers v Salford City
March 24, 2018

Preview: Harriers v Salford City

There's a big game at Aggborough this afternoon when league leaders Salford City come to town.

Having ended a three-game losing streak last time out with a win over play-off rivals York Harriers need another win to strengthen their spot in the play-off positions; a win could see them move above York who face a Southport side who themselves still have a chance of sneaking in to the end-of-season games.

There will be fitness tests for Liam Truslove, Elton Ngwatala and Jimmy O'Connor who are all closing in on returns from injury and could sneak into the squad.  Brandon Hall will continue in goal after coming through his return against York safely.  He now has new back-up in the shape of Nathan Vaughan who this week returned to the club for a third spell with the uninspiring Jon Flatt returning to Wolves as his loan ended.  Also unscathed are Fraser Horsfall and Ryan Croasdale who featured for England C in midweek, Croasdale taking the captain's armband to lead the side to a 3-2 win over Wales.  Horsfall will be lining up against one of his former clubs this afternoon.

Salford dropped two points in midweek, a late equaliser by North Ferriby denying them a fourth win in five games - although it wasn't enough to prevent The Villagers from being the first team relegated.  City are now five games unbeaten in the league after a spell that saw them win just three in nine and have their top spot in the league switch back and forth with Harrogate.  Ibou Touray was sent off at Ferriby but his suspension won't take effect in time to keep him out of today's game.  The Ammies, too, have a player who will be facing a former club with ex-Harrier Mani Dieseruvwe in their squad.

Earlier in the season City won the first meeting of the sides at Moor Lane 3-0, as they did on their own ground last season.  The only other game between the clubs saw James McQuilkin score the winner for Harriers at Aggborough last season.

I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hall; L. Vaughan, Taylor, Pearson, Horsfall; Weeks, Croasdale, McQuilkin; Sonupe, Ironside, Bradley.
Subs (from): Austin, Brown, Digie, Palmer, N. Vaughan, Waring.
Missing (injured): Ngwatala, O'Connor, Truslove.
Missing (dual-reg): Finch, Webb.

The referee this afternoon is scheduled to be Gareth Rhodes from York.  This will be his second time in charge of a Harriers game having been in the middle of this season's FA Cup tie at Newcastle Benfield.

This afternoon's weather is forecast to be cloudy with a temperature around 10°C and a 20% chance of rain.