PREVIEW: Premier Division

Thu 13th February 2020 | Match Previews
By Martin Fallon

With several sides in Macron Cup action, there are just six games this weekend in the Premier Division.

Perhaps the game of the day comes at the Mike Riding Ground as sixth place Longridge Town take on second place Bootle. Longridge's FA Vase exploits have impacted on their league progress and they come into the game six points behind Bootle with two games in hand. Whether their Vase run affected concentration is for others to decide, but Longridge have won just one of ther last six games and picked up five of the last fifteen points on offer. Bootle themselves have lost two of their last three games, but both were at home and they have won all of their last six games on the road. The Bucks will close the gap on 1874 Northwich to five points with a win.

Level on points with Bootle are Rylands, and the Warrington based club come into this game on top of the form guide. They have won all of their last six league games, scoring 16 goals, conceding just four and keeping three clean sheets. They host Skelmersdale United at home, with Skem looking for a return to the form that pulled them away from the bottom two around Christmas. Paul McNally's side have lost four of their last five games, but they have scored nine in those games so keeping it tight at the back will be their priority.

The fixture list throws up quite a number of games with little separating the clubs, none more so than the four points that separate Whitchurch Alport from opponents Northwich Victoria. Whitchurch are in 9th place in the table but that lowly position is due mainly to their home form where they have played 15 games this season and won just four. They have failed to win in their last seven games at Yockings Park, their last win coming back in November against Squires Gate. Perhaps then this is a good game for them, with Vics winning just four of their 14 away games. Steve Wilkes' side have failed to win any of their last four games, and their last away win also came in November when they won at Skelmersdale United.

A recent upturn in form has come at Congleton Town, who are unbeaten in three games having scored ten goals in the process. The Bears sit in 13th place in the league, and beat this weekend's opponents Padiham 4-0 at home, however they will be cautious given that they have won only two of their 17 away games this season. Padiham sit just above Congleton in the form guide and have won three and lost three of their last six games. Like others it is their home form that has given them problems this season, winning just five of 19 games at the Ruby Civic Arena, although they have only played at home once in 2020.

Squires Gate are another who have done well lately, and they come into this game in 11th place in both the league and form tables. A lot of this is because of their home form where they beat Litherland REMYCA last weekend and have picked up six wins from their last seven games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just 5. They host Barnoldswick Town who have lost six of their last seven games and failed to score in those games.

Our final Premier Division game sees Winsford United entertain Irlam. Winsford have strangely drawn four of ther last six games, but its wins that they cannot seem to string together lately, winning just two of their last 13 games in all competitions. Irlam went on a similar run, losing eight successive league games from the end of November, but they have picked up recently and have collected maximum points in two of their last three games. Irlam have won exactly half of the 18 away games that they have played this season.


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