Tomorrow we welcome Kidsgrove to the Skuna for their first visit in the league since they ascended out of the North-West Counties in 2002, although of course it is their second visit of the season, having dispatched us out of the FA Cup in early September with goals from Lee Williams and Shaun Rhodes.
Colls restored their pride 7 days later in the league when they left the Novus Stadium with the points as Conor Gaul delightfully volleyed home after Ben Hardcastle dinked the ball over the defence. The win was tempered as debutant Lloyd Bannister left the field in the first half with a Cruciate injury.
Having then beaten fellow Evo-Stik West outfit Mossley in the FA Cup, Kidsgrove continued the run by beating Workington in extra-time of a replay through a Rumenio Martins Valido Barai goal. They progressed to the Fourth Qualifying Round before eventually falling 1-0 to Hartlepool United at Victoria Park in front of over 2700 spectators!
The manager will no doubt be frustrated by the amount of drawn games, having only lost 4 games all season yet sitting in 12th place. Both games over the festive period ending 1-1, after scoring a 90th minute goal away Newcastle Town on Boxing Day, the celebrations were curtailed as Town grabbed an equaliser deep into injury time. Two other away games in December also finished all square, a point at Trafford possibly more cherished than the one at bottom club Skelmersdale, having been 2-0 up.
Danger man for The Grove is Ant Malbon who started his career at Port Vale before having prolific spells with Leek Town, Newcastle Town and Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference.
Colls after a fantastic festive period, taking 4 points from 6 with both games being difficult aways, will be looking to extend their great run of form. December Player of the Month Dave Sherlock is an injury worry following his late withdrawl at Ramsbottom.