We welcome Leek Town to the Skuna Stadium for their first ever visit to Alder Street, at the second time of asking. The original game in early February fell victim to a frozen pitch. That is unlikely to be a problem this time round!
Leek are one of the big boys in the division, having finished last season in 7th place in the Southern Division. 20 years ago they were competing in the Vauxhall Conference, the highest tier of non-league football. 30 years ago they also made it to Wembley in an FA Trophy final.
Neil Baker's men currently sit in 6th position in the table, recent form has been a mixed bag, having beaten Radcliffe at Stainton Park and Trafford at Shawe View, they then lost their home game to Trafford and also the local derby with Kidsgrove Athletic, El Staffico. The Grove doing the double over The Blues.
A number of cup replays has seen Leek accumulate a couple of games in hand on the teams above them in the table. After needing a replay to beat Northern Counties East Division One side Parkgate in the FA Cup, Leek were presented with a glamour tie away at Conference North leaders Chorley. The Magpies winning 3-0 with three first half goals in a game played in front of over 700 people back in September.
With Leek boasting the league's tightest defence, and not just by virtue of having played a couple of games less than the frontrunners, and with Colls being the highest scoring team we expect this to be the contest that will define the game.
Danger men for Leek are the exciting young forward Aaron Bott, with 16 goals to his credit this season and Robert Stevenson who sits just behind him on 14. Leek also have experienced British Virgin Islands striker Jordan Johnson and former Liverpool starlet Dan Trickett-Smith, once described as the future of LFC who has returned to the side following a spell out with injury. Trickett-Smith has now been signed by Port Vale and loaned back to Leek for the season. A quality player by all accounts.
Colls won the game earlier in the season with a very early Tom Bentham goal, a well placed sidefoot from the edge of the box, nestling perfectly just inside the far post, beyond the keeper's finger tips. The rest of the game was a tight affair with Leek showing plenty of quality on the ball but not being able to unlock the Colls defence.
Date: 11th March 2019
Postcode – M46 9EY
£7 adults, £4 concessions, U16 £2, U12 free with paying adult