Preview: Harriers v Stalybridge Celtic
New signing Ryan Croasdale goes straight into the squad this afternoon to face one of his former clubs.
The 21 year-old midfielder signed yesterday on non-contract terms having been released earlier in the summer by Sheffield Wednesday. He began his career in the youth teams at Preston, making a single senior appearance for them, and had loans with Tamworth - sitting on the bench in a game against Harriers - and today's opponents Stalybridge. Also moving yesterday was Jono Brown who joins Yate Town on loan until January.
John Eustace may stick with the team that won at Nuneaton in midweek, although Jordan Tunnicliffe picked up a knock late on in that game which may keep him out and could open the way for Wayne Thomas to make his debut or alternatively Ashley Carter could drop back and allow Croasdale to take over in midfield behind James McQuilkin and Elton Ngwatala. Along with Croasdale, both Tunnicliffe and Arthur Gnahoua would be facing their former club.
Stalybridge are another side that have not had the best of starts to the season. After winning at Boston on Opening Day they have since followed up with three defeats against Salford, Stockport and Telford. Injuries have been a problem for Celtic already, Tony McMillan and Aaron Chalmers have been out but did feature in the midweek defeat to Telford while James Ball missed that game with illness.
The last time the teams met was in February 1998 when an own goal and braces for Mike Bignall and Paul Davies gave Harriers a 5-0 win at Aggborough. Harriers have much the better record over previous meetings with eight wins to two from 14 games played; at Aggborough there have been six Harriers wins and one draw from seven games.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hornby; Williams, Francis-Angol, Lowe, Carter; Croasdale, McQuilkin, Ngwatala; Waite, Dieseruvwe, Gnahoua.
Subs (from): Austin, A. Brown, Clarke, Digie, Forsyth, Hancocks, Palmer, Sweeney, Taylor, Thomas, Truslove.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Millichamp, Sho-Silva.
Missing (injured): Hodgkiss, Stambolziev, Tunnicliffe.
For the fifth game in-a-row the referee will be one that has never refereed a Harriers game before; today's is Ricky Wootton from West Riding.
This afternoon's weather is forecast to be wet and windy with a temperature of 18°C.