Preview: Harriers v Altrincham
Harriers will make their sixth attempt at a first home win tomorrow with the visit of Altrincham to Aggboroough.
No home wins against no away wins suggests a draw is on the cards tomorrow but Harriers will be going all-out to make sure that doesn't happen. A win could lift 16th-placed Harriers up into the top ten.
Manager John Pemberton will have some selection problems tomorrow; two players return from international duty but two players will be missing through injury. Rhys Williams and Milan Butterfield are back with the squad but loanees Cameron Gregory and Jamie Sharman both picked up injuries at Blyth last weekend, Gregory in the warm-up before the game. Tom Palmer stepped in in goal at Croft Park and will continue this weekend with Gregory likeley to be out for three to four weeks, Rhys Williams will return in place of Sharman. Butterfield should come straight back into the side, his presence has been missed in the last two games.
Altrincham have had a mixed start to the season, unbeaten in four at home, including spanking Leamington 5-0 last time out, they have lost the last three on the road. As a result they find themselves 14th in the league just a point ahead of Harriers. Former Harrier Jake Moult is the captain of The Robins and should feature tomorrow as he heads towards 350 appearances for the club.
Last season this fixture ended in a 3-2 win for Harriers with goals from Ed Williams, Dan Bradley and Ashley Chambers. In the 54 games played so far Harriers trail the series marginally with 20 wins to 21.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (5-3-2): Palmer; Austin, Davidson, Moyo, R. Williams, Johnson; Weeks, Butterfield, E. Williams; Chambers, Peniket.
Subs (from): Higginson, D. Lowth, Mountjoy, Prosser, Taylor-Randle, White.
Missing (injured): Gregory, Sharman.
Refereeing the game will be Michael Barlow from Lancashire. This will be his second time in charge of a Harriers game; last season he did the 3-0 home win over Bradford Park Avenue.
Weather at Aggborough around kick-off time is forecast to be partly cloudy with a temperature of 20°C and no chance of rain.
Elsewhere the Under-23 side will begin their League Cup campaign with a game against Stourport Swifts which will kick-off at COSE at 10:30. Division rivals Stourport started their season with a 6-1 win at Lichfield but have lost the next three games, conceding at least four goals in each of them; league leaders Harriers have won three on the bounce scoring at least five each time, as well as a 20-1 win that has been expunged from the record as Continental Star have dropped out of the league.
On Sunday the ladies begie the defence of their County Cup with a home tie at Lea Castle, kick-off 2pm, against Redditch Borough who they beat at the same stage of last season's competition. They have strengthened their squad today with the addition of another striker in the shape of former Wolves player Dannie Selmes.