Rochdale will be buoyed by their recent form in the league and hopefully, Brain Barry-Murphys men can string a run of results together over the coming weeks. A home game against Bristol Rovers will provide a tough challenge for Dale, especially with their results of late. New signing Alex Newby getting off the mark will hopefully be a good starting point to kick on this season.

Wigan Athletic, despite their off-field troubles, are going okay in League One. Indifferent results are to be expected and they seem to be just keeping their head above water. A home game against Northampton is an early must-win, as the key is always to beat the teams around you.

Moving on to League Two

Salford City host fellow Greater Manchester side Oldham Athletic with interim manager Paul Scholes welcoming his former employers. Oldham are having a one step forward, two steps back kind of season so far and a trip to Salford will not be an easy task. However, their last derby encounter with Bolton Wanderers came with a surprise win.

Ian Evatt will be hoping for more from his goalkeeper, despite the fall-out from his post-match comments last weekend. A game away to fellow mid-table strugglers Leyton Orient will be another chance for Bolton to fire up their season. A campaign, that so far has not lived up to the pre-season hype in League Two.

Into Non-League

With Altrincham not seeing much National League action of late, they will relish the chance to travel to Dover. A cup loss to AFC Fylde last week will most likely give Altrincham the bit between their teeth as they start to look to climb the table.

Stockport County, on the other hand, are flying in the National League. County host an out-of-form Weymouth side. Jim Gannon has his men firing on all cylinders early on in this campaign and will be hoping for more of the same this week. The FA Cup defeat last weekend to fellow National League side Chesterfield will be a disappointment surely, however, the gaffer’s mind can now solely be set on getting Stockport back into League football. 

Following a missed weekend last weekend, Curzon Ashton welcome Darlington to the Tameside Stadium. Steve Cunningham’s men may be a surprise package this campaign and they will be looking to stretch their recent good form with a win over Darlington.

FA Trophy

The FA Trophy takes centre stage for many of our sides this weekend, as we enter the third qualifying round and take a step closer to Wembley.

Ashton United come back after a prolonged period out due to COVID19. Manager Micheal Clegg will be hoping for a better run of results following a string of poor losses pre-covid break. They host Clitheroe. Atherton Collieries will be looking to take their league form into the meeting with City of Liverpool match. 

Following last weekend’s FA Cup heroics against Guiseley, FC United are in FA Trophy action this weekend against Marske United with a tie against Doncaster Rovers the following week. It’s a great time to be an FC United fan and the more cup action the better at the moment. Hyde United are another side that has not played a lot of football recently, with them back in action at home to Frickley Athletic.

Stalybridge will be hoping the FA Trophy provides them with a welcome distraction from their poor league form with a tie away to Marine. Radcliffe completes the set with a home game against Bamber Bridge.

In the Northern Premier League Division West, Ramsbottom United host Prescot Cables, with the rams flying high in the league this should be a good match. Mossley also gets back into action following a break from football due to COVID with an away game at Widnes.



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