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Tuesday Evening Football Previews
Tuesday 24th January 2017 @ 09:56 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Weather permitting, four of our local sides are competing in action tonight.

In the Evo-Stik First Division North, Droylsden host Farsley Celtic at the Butchers Arms, while Hyde United travel to Ramsbottom United.

The Bloods extended their unbeaten league run to five matches with a a 4-1 victory over bottom club Burscough on Saturday.

Dave Pace’s side have found form of late, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that, depending the outcome of tonight’s result, a play-off charge could materialise.

Droylsden’s upturn in fortunes is all the more impressive given they lost top scorer Steve Lewis to Rhyl in December.

The striker netted 12 times for the Bloods before returning to the Welsh Premier League side.

However, the Bloods have more than filled the void in the striking department by netting 12 times in their previous five games, with eight of those coming in their previous two fixtures.

This evening’s visitors look set to claim a play-off spot this season, although they will also have hope of challenging for the title.

Despite currently lying fourth in the table, Farsley have three games in hand on table-topping Lancaster City and five games in hand on third place Ossett Town.

The Villagers have won their previous three outings, with their latest victory coming on Saturday in a 3-2 win at Colne.

Droylsden’s defence will need to be wary of Farsley’s James Walshaw, who has netted 18 times this season, making him the second highest scorer in the league.

Elsewhere, Hyde United face a tough test at a rejuvenated Ramsbottom United this evening.

Similarly to Droylsden, Ramsbottom have enjoyed an upturn in fortune since the start of 2017 and also extended their unbeaten league run to five games at Colwyn Bay in a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

The Rams claimed a last minute winner through former Audenshaw School pupil Josh Askew, who has now returned to parent club Blackburn Rovers.

As for Hyde, Darren Kelly’s side have a nine point cushion above the relegation zone, but the unpredictability of this league – as evidenced when relegation threatened Goole beat Glossop and claimed a point at league leaders Lancaster City – means they’re not safe just yet.

In fact, the Tigers salvaged a 1-1 draw against struggling Prescot Cables at Ewen Fields on Saturday.

Matt Beadle popped up in the 85th minute to claim a draw in what could prove to be an invaluable point come the end of the season.

Stalybridge Celtic were extremely unfortunate not to claim a much-needed victory at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.

Celtic were unable to hold onto a 2-1 lead with five minutes remaining, as Gainsborough’s Ashley Worsfold claimed a late equaliser for the hosts to make it 2-2.

The result leaves Celtic 12 points adrift of safety in the National League North, and with January concluded with fixtures against AFC Telford Utd and Curzon Ashton, the next two games could shape their season.

Paul Phillips and Steve Halford’s side make the journey to League Two Crewe Alexandra this evening for a Cheshire Senior Cup first round tie.

The game will undoubtedly be a stern test for Celtic, but one the players and management team can look forward to with no pressure or serious expectation.

Crewe have recently appointed former club captain David Artell as the first team manager.

The 36-year-old, who most recently played for Droylsden at the end of 2016, replaced long-serving manager Steve Davis on January 8.

Since arriving at Gresty Road, Artell has overseen two league fixtures which both ended in defeat.

Crewe are currently five points above the League 2 relegation zone.

The winner of tonight’s tie will meet Stockport County, at home, in the second round.

Having fallen victim to the weather four times this year, Glossop North End will be hoping to return to action this evening at Gresley in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Quarter-Final.

The game was scheduled to be played at Surrey Street but, having suffered two postponements already this year, the game, on the orders of the Derbyshrie County FA, has been switched to Gresley.

Although the league takes priority this season, the prospect of claiming silverware will undoubtedly be relished by manager Chris Willcock and his players.