FA Trophy second round preview

By James Gordon

The NPL Premier Division and NPL East Division leaders go head-to-head on Saturday in the FA Trophy.

Matlock Town have sat top of the pile for seven straight weeks ahead of South Shields and Buxton, while Marske reached the East Division summit with a 5-0 thumping of Bridlington Town on Tuesday night.

Matlock boss Paul Phillips said: “They’re a very good team, strong and powerful with some good players such as Adam Boyes, Matty Tymon and Dale Hopson who’ve played in the NPL Premier and the league above.

“They’ve got their recruitment right, It’ll be a tough task. We need to be bang at it and show the conviction and attitude that’s put us at the top of our division.”

Marske have had a fine season so far - winning 13 of 15 league games and reaching the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

They were unlucky to go down to National League side Gateshead 3-2 in a replay, having stunned Chester with a 4-0 win in the previous round.

They have already claimed significant Premier Division scalps this season too - beating South Shields 3-0 in the FA Cup second qualifying round, and then FC United in the FA Trophy first round.

Goals haven’t been a problem either, with Adam Boyes having notched a remarkable 32 goals already this season.

Mark Beesley’s first game in charge of Warrington Town will be at home to Morpeth Town.

It is one of two all Premier Division ties, with Nantwich Town travelling to Whitby.

Beesley said: “Morpeth have got some good players.

“We’ve played them a couple of times over the years and they’ve beaten us comfortably. It’s up to us to try and get a game plan ready for them.

“I’ve watched them once this season and they’re starting to get their act together.

“I think they’ll be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season – I wouldn’t rule them out for a late charge at the play-offs.

“We’ve got to be at our best to win this game.”

There will be pitch inspections at Farsley, ahead of their all-Celtic clash with Stalybridge, and Liversedge - who welcome Premier Division Lancaster City.

There are eight ties involving NPL clubs - the others are Ashton United at home to Guiseley, Marine visiting Bradford Park Avenue and Radcliffe hosting Tamworth.

Where next?

Snow and storms impact Saturday fixtures The weather is impacting on today’s Northern Premier League and FA Trophy programme.
New 'keeper for Mickleover Mickleover have signed young Leicester City goalkeeper Arlo Doherty on loan.

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