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Match Preview - Newcastle Town FC vs Kidsgrove Athletic FC


Faltering Kidsgrove come to us for local derby

The high of that thrilling 3-0 win over Prescot Cables two weeks ago was brought into context with a disappointing follow up result last weekend against a Trafford side fighting for survival. As the gaffer has been saying in recent weeks, there’s still a long way to go before we can become a decent side.



But that won’t stop us working hard to be one. And after any defeat, there’s always an opportunity to prove your worth just round the corner. And just round the corner for us this weekend are local rivals Kidsgrove Athletic.


We played them last in the autumn and things couldn’t have been more different than they are now. At that point, the Grove were flying with seven wins from eight league games and riding high clear at the top of the league having scored 25 goals in those games for good measure. Now, some four and a half months later, after a run of just two wins in 18 league games, they lie a point and a place behind us.


We won that day in October with two goals from Dan Cockerline – including a controversial last-minute winner – and that was the beginning of a terrible run from our visitors this Saturday. After losing their captain Oliver Jepson on the eve of our derby win, Grove were dealt another blow when winger Kieran Knapper swapped the river banks of the Trent for those of the Mersey and joined Runcorn Linnets in January. They have been two big misses for our neighbours.


Our own results – and many of our performances – have been outstanding this year but our prospects weren’t helped last weekend when Tommy van der Laan had to fill in at centre half with Josh Jordan out injured.


Callum Holland made his full debut against Trafford and made a good impression in midfield on a day when we were a little unlucky to come away with nothing, despite Slinny saving one of the two penalties he faced. On the positive front, Jake Avery scored for the fifth successive game at Trafford and will be hoping to extend his goal-scoring run even further against Kidsgrove.


Speaking at training tonight, Neil was looking forward to another local derby: “They’re never easy local derbies and I don’t expect this one to be either. I know they’ve had a bad run, but I’ve never had an easy game against Kidsgrove and I don’t expect one on Saturday either. As always, we’re looking forward to the game and will be ready for the challenge.”


On a final note, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our warm wishes to our former player Ant Malbon who would have been expected to be involved on Saturday. Ant came on as a substitute in Kidsgrove’s game with Avro last weekend but collapsed on the field, leading to the game being abandoned.


Everyone at Newcastle Town wishes Ant well in his recovery.


Come on ‘Castle!

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