Preview: Boxing Day Trip For Harriers
Harriers head to Bromsgrove Sporting's Victoria Road ground this afternoon for a big local derby.
Second-placed Harriers can maintain their position in the league with victory over their mid-table hosts who Head of Coaching Matt Gardiner will be facing for the first time since leaving them in the summer to move to Aggborough.
John Eustace has a full squad to choose from with only the injured Jared Hodgkiss doubtful; the former skipper himself is back in training, though, and could be available for selection before too long. Having not played for over a week Harriers should be fresh as they look for their seventh win in-a-row and tenth in the last twelve games, the manager is likely to stick to the same side that overcame Darlington last time out.
This afternoon's hosts have not won for three games in the league, a 1-1 draw at Gainsborough last time out followed on from defeats at leaders Fylde and Salford City. Manager Carl Heeley can call upon three former Harriers when he names his team, striker Lee Hughes and midfielder Danny Jackman should feature while defender Tom Sharpe is doubtful with injury.
The sides have not met in a competitive game since Chris McPhee's goal gave Harriers a 1-0 FA Trophy win at St Geaorge's Lane in February 2010. The teams last met in a league game in April 1985 when a John Powell hat-trick and another goal from Alan Ollis gave Harriers a 4-1 win. In games played since 1945 Harriers trail the series 38 wins to 52 from 106 games played.
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, Carter, Knights, Palmer, Taylor, Thomas, Truslove.
Missing (injured): Hodgkiss.
Missing (on-loan): J. Brown, Clarke, Digie, Forsyth, Hancocks, Sho-Silva, Sweeney.
Refereeing the game today will be Declan Bourne from Nottinghamshire; this will be his third time in charge of a Harriers game, all this season, having done the FA Cup wins over Tamworth and Weymouth.
This afternoon's weather is forecast to be sunny with a temperature of 6°C and no chance of rain.