Witton Albion v Frickley Athletic (ko 3pm)
UniBond Premier Division
Venue: Wincham Park
Odds (Corbett): Witton 10/11, Draw 9/4, Frickley 9/4
Previous meeting: Witton 3 Frickley 0
Witton (from): Greg Smith (GK), Donnelly, Pritchard, Coyne, Dunne, Schwarz, Awang, Gahgan, Settle, Thaker, Drew, Steve Smith, Ben Thornley, Willis, Skelton, Gouldbourne, Rod Thornley
Doubtful: Lugsden (ankle) Injured: none
Suspended: Scott (three matches)
Form guide: As expected with a completely new set of players, Witton have struggled for consistency this summer. An initial victory at Alsager was followed by defeats at Newcastle Town, Ramsbottom United and Trafford before a 2-1 win at Congleton. A 2-0 defeat at neighbours Middlewich and a 6-4 loss against Manchester City U18s completed their preparation.
Frickley (from): Hood (GK), Nicklin (GK), Brough, White, Gowen, Pollock, Walsh, Heath, Jones, Hilton, Pierpoint, Davies, Selby, Morris, Lee, Pell, Wilburn, Towler
Suspended: Groome (three matches), Robinson (two matches), Lindley (one match)
Form guide:Like Witton the Blues have endured a mixed pre-season campaign, winning three and losing three of their seven matches. Forwards Dean Wilburn, Lee Morris and Rob Pell have all been among the goals, which will encourage manager Billy Heath.
FRICKLEY have failed to win a league match at Wincham Park since Witton’s return’s incorporation into a reformed UniBond Premier Division in 2004.
Since then the hosts have never failed to score at least twice in this fixture, racking up three wins and a draw.
Recent memories of facing Frickley are not fond ones though, the final game of the 2006-07 campaign seeing then manager Jim Vince’s team falling short of the title by a single goal following a 2-0 victory.
More than 450 people saw last season’s corresponding fixture, a comfortable 3-0 success for the hosts as they closed in on the title.
The visitors finished bottom of last year’s Fair Play league and the absence of three players through suspension for tomorrow’s season opener is a hangover from their appalling disciplinary record.
Witton manager Nigel Deeley has managed to add Chris Gahgan to his squad ahead of the Yorkshiremen’s visit, with the former Barnton winger tasked to provide the ammunition for Rod Thornley.