Non-league preview: Bumper weekend of festive fixtures

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Salford City make the trip to Darlington on Sunday after their initial fixture was postponed last weekend, because of a frozen pitch.

Both sides were due to have a free weekend having being knocked out of the FA Trophy in the qualifying stages, but will instead go head to head at Blackwell Meadows.

Before last Saturday’s original fixture, defender Michael Nottingham said the team were looking for revenge against rivals Darlington, as they look to make up for their opening day loss.

Nottingham Said: “We definitely want to get them back for the first game of the season, it kind of hit us hard because there has been a bit of rivalry between us over the last couple of seasons,

“We’re focused, we have got to make sure we do the right things and pick up the three points.

“We’ve got a very strong team this year, even though we didn’t click on the first game, everything has gelled really nicely.”

Utility player Lois Maynard is the Ammies only injury doubt as joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley look for their side to extend their lead at the top of the National League North.

Meanwhile, Stockport County are in FA Trophy action on Saturday as they travel to the Giant Axe to take on Lancaster City in the first round.

The side from SK3 progressed to this stage of the competition after knocking out Southport.

There will be a familiar face in the home dugout, as former County assistant manager Phil Brown is in charge at Lancaster.

Brown assisted ex-manager Alan Lord between 2013 and 2015 as well as taking caretaker charge when Lord moved into a director of football role.

Stockport head into the game full of confidence after a 3-2 home win against Spennymoor on Saturday, but they will be missing influential attacker Matty Warburton and long-term absentee Sam Minihan.

Lancaster are a division below the Hatters, but Jim Gannon’s side will have to be alert as Lancaster have only lost one home game so far this season.

Another side on the road in the FA Trophy are National League leaders Macclesfield Town.

The Silkmen, who are exceeding all expectations this campaign, travel to play divisional rivals Halifax following their 4-1 victory at home to Wrexham last weekend.

That game was televised live on BT Sport and even featured a volunteer dressed as Santa clearing snow from the pitch in the 80th minute so the game could be completed.

John Askey will be hoping his side don’t need any additional help from Father Christmas this Saturday.

NPL Premier Division table toppers Altrincham are also in FA Trophy action as they make the short journey to Warrington.

Most of our other Non-League sides are in League action, though FC United of Manchester have the weekend off.

Curzon Ashton are away to North Ferriby with Stalybridge Celtic and Ashton United on home turf against Nantwich and Halesowen respectively.

In the NPL Division One North, Hyde United travel to Prescott Cables, Mossley are up against Colne and Droylsden host Clitheroe.

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