On Wednesday night we make our first ever visit to Garstang FC in the Second Round of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy.
The Riversiders are the reigning West lancs Premier League Champions, joining the North-West Counties with a number of other new clubs as part of the regionalisation of the league this year.
Lee Baker's men have made a solid start to their Division One North campaign, as they adjust to life higher up the pyramid. A defeat away at lowly Daisy Hill in their last league outing will have been of concern, the Reds' squad being stretched by injuries and the loss of Billy Akrigg to Kendal Town. However a Macron Cup victory over Premier Division high fliers Sildsen suggests that may well be a blip. Their experience of extra-time this season surely putting extra fitness into legs in the long term.
An FA Vase victory over the fabulously named Swallownest landed them a plum home tie against Sunderland RCA last weekend (now there's a name to send a chill down the spine of a Colls fan, the Wearsiders putting us to the sword 10-0 in a 2009 friendly). In front of a bumper crowd, the Northern League side had the upper hand, racing into a 0-4 lead at half-time after winning their aerial battles and picking up the pieces. However, taking advantage of the decent playing surface and that fitness, Garstang pulled a couple of goals back in the second half before conceding two further late goals. The game finishing 2-6 with forward Ric Coar in the goals following keeper Will Kitchen's dismissal.
For the Colls, the returning Gary Burnett is cup-tied so manager Micheal Clegg may choose to give Adam Farrell a run out, with his aerial threat. Hat-trick hero Jordan Cover may have earned himself a rest. With this being the only cup competition left for Colls we still expect a strong side to be wearing the famous green away kit which is having one final hurrah before being gracefully retired.
Date: Wednesday 7th November
Admission (fixed by the LFA):
Under 16s accompanied with an adult free