Preview: Darlington v Harriers
Harriers kick the weekend off early this week with a Friday night trip to Darlington.
With Darlington's landlords Bishop Auckland being involved in the FA Cup tomorrow Harriers' first big test of the season has had to be moved forward to tonight.
Harriers will likely be unchanged from the team that beat Altrincham on Bank Holiday Monday; Ryan Croasdale, whose impressive form in his first few appearances has earned him a contract until the end of the season, will continue in place of Ashley Carter who completes his three-game ban. James McQuilkin will play tonight before his suspension for picking up five yellow cards starts. One player who will not feature is young defender James Hancocks who has been sent out on loan to Halesowen Town until January.
Darlington have made a good start to the campaign following on from their promotion from the Evostik League last season. So far they have lost just one game and sit two points ahead of Harriers in fourth place; that one defeat, though, was in their last home game when Alfreton won by the odd goal in seven.
Since Darlington reformed as Darlington 1883 the clubs haven't met but under their previous guise Harriers have a good record with nine wins to six from 19 meetings. The last meeting in Darlington ended in a 1-0 home win in October 2011 but goals from Dave Hankin, Anthony Malbon and Ryan Rowe gave Harriers a 3-1 win in the return later that season.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hornby; Williams, Francis-Angol, Lowe, Tunnicliffe; Croasdale, McQuilkin, Ngwatala; Waite, Dieseruvwe, Gnahoua.
Subs (from): Austin, A. Brown, Clarke, Digie, Palmer, Stambolziev, Sweeney, Taylor, Thomas, Truslove.
Missing (suspended): Carter.
Missing (injured): Hodgkiss.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Forsyth, Hancocks, Millichamp, Sho-Silva.
Tonight's referee is another Harriers virgin, this time it's Will Finnie from Northumberland.
The weather this evening is forecast to be partly cloudy with a temperature around 15°C and a 5% chance of rain.