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Match preview Vs Stafford Rangers

Date: 26-12-06 Venue: Marston Road Kick off: 15:00hrs
For the first game of the Christmas period the Harriers travel the short distance up the A449 (or the M6 if you're a masochist) to Stafford Rangers.    Following previous seasons when the fans have been expected to travel to such outlandish places as Altrincham and Yeovil on Boxing Day it's good to not have to travel too far on a belly full of turkey.

That's something that Mark Yates has warned the players about when he said:
"Most of them have been in the game long enough to know that they have got to be dedicated over Christmas.
I want three points at Stafford and I don't want them feeling the after-effects of drinking and stuffing themselves with turkey."

Too true Mark and we don't want to be let down either.

We should be able to field a full side for the game with Stuart Whitehead back in the side following his recent injury scare.    He was fit for the FA Trophy game against Vauxhall but Yatesey decided not to risk him against such lowly opposition.    That came back to haunt him with that disappointing result forcing a wasted trip to Ellesmere only to find North Cheshire fog-bound and the game called off.

Iyseden Christie and Rob Davies also picked up slight injuries in the Vauxhall game but are now fully fit and raring to go.

Stafford came up from the Conference North last season after winning the play-off final against Droylsden.    They've acquitted themselves far better that most experts? thought they would and sit just one place below us in the league table.

For our first meeting since 1994/95, when we lost 2-1 both at Aggborough and Marston Road, Stafford will have a few injury problems.

Midfielder Kevin Street has a broken ankle and will be out until February.    Forward Nathan Smith is waiting for operation on his knee following a motor bike accident and is unlikely to play again this season.

Goalkeeper Dean Williams is doubtful following a head and neck injury but stands an outside chance of being on the bench.    Central defender Craig McAughtrie has been out for past few weeks but is now reported fit and striker Matt Barlow, on loan from Crewe, could be fit after missing their FA Trophy game against Kettering that they lost 1-0.

Ged Murphy will be back in the side after missing the trophy match with a one match suspension.

Also playing for Stafford is Wayne Daniel, a former Harrier, but I don't remember anything about him.    Neil Grayson is still there too - shouldn't he be using a zimmer frame by now? - and is well remembered from when he was an arsehole at Cheltenham.

This is going to be another tough game, for both sides, but I think that with the backing of a strong Harriers following we could nick this one.

Thanks to Duncan from the Stafford message board for his team news.


Harriers from:
Bevan, S Taylor, Harkness, Kenna, Haworth, Creighton, Whitehead, McGrath, Sedgemore, Hurren, Russell, Penn, Reynolds, Blackwood, Davies, B Taylor, Smikle, Christie, Constable, White.

Stafford from:
Williams, Alcock, Talbott, McAughtrie, Daniel, Lovatt, Grayson, Gibson, Madjo, Edwards, Quailey, Olaoye, Bailey, Dacres, Barlow, Basham, Sutton, Murphy, Oldfield, Robinson, Murray.

Links to Stafford websites here
Directions to Stafford here

Previous games against Stafford
Harriers score first
1994 - 95
1 - 2
2 - 1
1993 - 94
2 - 0
3 - 0
3 - 2
1992 - 93
0 - 2
1 - 0
1991 - 92
2 - 1
0 - 2
1990 - 91
2 - 1
1 - 3
1989 - 90
3 - 0
1 - 0
1988 - 89
3 - 2
1 - 0
1 - 2
1987 - 88
0 - 0
0 - 0
1986 - 87
1 - 1
1 - 4
1985 - 86
1 - 1
2 - 3

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