MATCH PREVIEW: Crucial fixture to kick-off the New Year

Workington’s NPL record on New Year’s Day is not too good and will certainly be put to the test when in-form Clitheroe come first-footing on Saturday.

They have lost their last three games played on the first day of January so will be hoping to buck the trend of recent years in the division’s ‘match-of-the-day’.

Billy Priestley’s side are in great form and will arrive in west Cumbria as the only team in NPL West yet to lose an away game.  They are scoring freely and have one of the best defensive records, so are very effective at both ends of the pitch.

It should be a cracker with second placed Reds hosting a Clitheroe side currently third and just four points separating the teams.

Back in August, Reds emerged 2-0 winners at Shawbridge (thanks to a couple of cracking goals from David Symington) with many supporters of the opinion it was our best performance of the season.

Symington, and Nic Evangelinos, missed Monday’s game at Kendal due to Covid with Reds going into the derby short of six regulars.

The match sees Brad Carroll and Iyrwah Gooden lining up against one of their former clubs with Ben McKenna and Cole Lonsdale, two former Workington players, returning to Borough Park in Clitheroe colours.

The head-to-head tells us that the two sides have met previously in North West Counties, FA Trophy, Northern Premier League and NPL Challenge Cup action with the nine encounters producing six wins for Workington, two in Clitheroe’s favour with the only draw in the inaugural meeting back in 1998.

Clitheroe attracted an excellent 1,679 crowd to Monday’s derby v. neighbours Colne and will have the backing of a coach load of supporters at Borough Park with Workington officials hoping for a seasonal high attendance.   

Other key fixtures on Saturday include:

1874 Northwich v. Runcorn Linnets

Glossop North End v. Trafford

Leek Town v. Market Drayton Town

Prescot Cables v. Marine

Widnes v. Warrington Rylands

Kick-off 3pm.

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