Preview: Darlington v Harriers
It's a long trip north for Harriers this evening when they visit Blackwell Meadows to face Darlington.
After a three-week break Harriers finally got to play a game last Tuesday but were halted again at the weekend by the weather so they'll have to spend time getting themselves back up to speed again this evening. Most of the weekend programme of games was hit by the weather so Harriers' lack of action didn't impact their league position too badly and a win this evening could lift them up to tenth place.
John Pemberton should have a full squad to pick from; only Brandon Diau was missing last time out, after recovering from concusiion he had a calf strain which should be clear by now. He will probably haveto make do with a place on the subs' bench at best as the manager is likely to go with the same side that beat Farsley.
Darlington are in good form at the moment; even though they are a place behind Harriers on the same points they have won the last five in all competitions and are still in the FA Cup where they face Walsall at Bescot. The manager, Alun Armstrong, has a number of players missing through injury: Luke Trotman and Jamie Holmes have achilles and cruciate ligament injuries respectively and will be out for most, if not all, of the season. Also out is David Atkinson with an ankle injury.
Last season this fixture ended in a disappointing 3-0 defeat for Harriers. Overall, though, they have a good record against The Quakers: from 25 encounters, including away games on four different grounds, Harriers have 12 wins to Darlington's eight.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (5-3-2): Gregory; Austin, Davidson, Moyo, R. Williams, Johnson; Butterfield, Weeks, Hemmings; Chambers, Peniket.
Subs (from): Diau, Freemantle, Fuller, Higginson, D. Lowth, S. Lowth, Mountjoy, Palmer, Prosser, Scott, Shenton, Taylor-Randle, White, Williams.
Refereeing the game tonight will be Jonny Urwin from Durham who will be in charge of his first Harriers game.
The weather this evening is forecast to be clear with a chilly 5°C temperature and 5% chance of rain.