When Boxing Day comes round, it will be more than three weeks that we’ll have been kicking our heels waiting for frozen pitches to thaw, so it will be a relief to get back to league action. And what better way to do it than with a mouth-watering Boxing Day derby against our near neighbours and local rivals Leek.
The men from the Moorlands are in terrific form and come in to this derby off the back of a stirring comeback win from 2-0 down against Bootle, which coupled with Runcorn Linnets unexpectedly dropping points at Widnes, sent them back to second in the league table five points behind Macclesfield and with a game in hand.
Dan Trickett-Smith was the orchestrator of that crucial victory with the corner that set up the first goal and then a brace of close-range finishes, which earnt an improbable three points. These games were the only two matches to survive the weather in the last round of league fixtures on Saturday 17 December.
There’s no question that the recent sub-zero temperatures have wreaked havoc with amateur sides up and down the country and the match today will be our first since an underserved 1-0 loss at home to Workington way back on 3 December.
So our Boxing Day clash presents a great opportunity to start afresh. Neil Baker’s Leek, with eight wins in their last nine league games, will start as favourites but form goes out the window in derbies and ‘Castle won’t need any extra motivation.
Enjoy the game.