Following a weekend of mixed League Challenge Cup and League action, we are back to a midweek schedule of purely NWCFL Premier Division football.
There are seven fixtures this week, starting with some Monday night football at Runcorn Town, as they face St. Helens Town.
Both sides are fighting battles at different ends of the table, Runcorn beat Colne 5-3 on Saturday to go top of the league, and have the opportunity to extend their lead. St. Helens moved out of the relegation zone at the weekend, but it is difficult to imagine them getting anything from the game at Pavilions tonight. Runcorn Town won the first meeting of the season 2-0 back in September.
The most intriguing match-up on Tuesday night looks to be Winsford United vs Maine Road. Road will be desperate for a win to keep tracks with Runcorn Town in first place, but it will be difficult at Barton Stadium. Winsford lost at home to Glossop last Tuesday to end an eight game unbeaten run in the league, Runcorn Town will be hoping for a favour from their Cheshire counterparts.
Sixth-placed Colne have not won in three games, and face another tricky fixture at home to Barnoldswick Town. Both teams lost at the weekend, Colne to Runcorn Town, and Barnoldswick to Division One Formby in the League Challenge Cup. Each team needs to rebound with a win to keep up their slim chances of promotion.
The biggest crowd of the week should be at Surrey Street, where Glossop North End face AFC Liverpool. Glossop rank second in the NWCFL Premier Division with an average attendance of 157, and AFC Liverpool always travel well. The away side are coming off an impressive 2-0 win away at Alsager at the weekend to get them in to the last eight of the Cup. Glossop won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in September.
Squires Gate dropped in to the relegation zone after a loss at home to Stone Dominoes on Saturday. They have lost their five games without scoring a goal, and it doesn’t get any easier for them, as they travel to Delta Taxi Stadium on Tuesday to face Bootle. The two sides met just two weeks ago, when Bootle ran out 4-0 winners, the Bucks will be confident of another win as they try to use their games in hand to catch up in the race for promotion.
Ashton Athletic will be hoping they can pull away from the relegation zone when they welcome Wigan Robin Park to Brocstedes Park on Tuesday. Athletic are in 18th, three points clear of the bottom two, but have played more games than both Bacup Borough in 19th and St. Helens Town in 20th.
Bacup Borough themselves will be looking to gain some vital points in the battle against relegation, they are two points clear of the drop zone and will travel to 15th-placed AFC Blackpool on Tuesday night. Borough have lost their last six league games but a good win over Division One leaders AFC Darwen in the Cup on Saturday should give them confidence heading in to this game. AFC Blackpool have not won in their last three, but will see this as an opportunity to get back on track.
Monday 18th February 2013 – NWCFL Premier Division
Runcorn Town vs St. Helens Town
Tuesday 19th February 2013 – NWCFL Premier Division
AFC Blackpool vs Bacup Borough
Ashton Athletic vs Wigan Robin Park
Bootle vs Squires Gate
Colne vs Barnoldswick Town
Glossop North End vs AFC Liverpool
Winsford United vs Maine Road