Spennymoor travel to Lincolnshire to face Evo-Stik South side Cleethorpes Town in the FA Trophy looking to bounce back from defeat at Leamington last weekend.
In a season mostly populated with memorable highs, last Saturday marked a rare day of discontent as Moors were humbled by lowly Leamington.
Positives, although sparse, were taken from the performance, with Jason Ainsley pointing the amount of chances his side created, however, the lack of cutting edge in front of goal ultimately denied a fourth consecutive victory.
The FA Trophy represents a chance for the side to take a break from a relentless league schedule which has provided an abundance of tough tests in recent weeks.
Cleethorpes, nicknamed the Owls, currently sit in 4th position in the Evo-Stik South table, and set up Saturday’s tie courtesy of a memorable 2-1 win over Hednesford Town.
Any expectations that it will be an easy ride for Moors should be quashed when analysing Cleethorpes’s record this season, with The Owls only tasting defeat three times in 23 games in all competitions.
- Cleethorpes are unbeaten in five home games since a 1-2 defeat to Atherton Collieres in September
- There are 37 places between the two sides in the league ladder
- Last week’s 4-0 defeat at Leamington was the third occasion Moors have conceded four times in a single game this season
- Moors have scored 35 goals in 19 games this season, an average of 1.84 per game, and have conceded 27 at an average of 1.42 per game
- Cleethorpes have scored 33 goals in 15 games this season at an average of 2.2 per game. They have conceded a goal per game on average.
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Joe Tait picked up his fifth yellow card of the season so he is suspended for the trip to Lincolnshire. There are doubts over the fitness of Glen Taylor and Shane Henry. Both will be assessed before the trip to Cleethorpes.
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“No one said it would be an easy ride. Last weekend represented one of the strangest games of football I can remember watching. It may have ended 4-0 to Leamington, but the scoreline could have easily been flipped on it’s head, given the topsy-turvy nature of the contest. There are many times when the term ‘ifs and buts’ is used in football, often overused and coined incorrectly, but it was certainly applicable last Saturday.
“Two saved penalties and countless opportunities, the likes of which have been clinically finished this campaign, went begging, and we were punished in the latter stages after attempting to chase the game.
“Therefore, it’s perhaps the perfect weekend to take a break from league action as we begin our FA Trophy journey. It’s a competition which offers the chance to take the field at Wembley in May, so the prospect should see Moors return to their best. Despite the gap between the sides in terms of league position, there are no guarantees this will be an easy day at the office. The Owls will pack out their stadium and no doubt treat the game as their cup final. Whatever happens, cup football always delivers!”
“We are really looking forward to the game and the challenge that the FA Trophy offers. It’s a big competition for the non-league teams and we want to go as far as possible.
“We have had Cleethorpes watched and we know how good they are as a team. When it comes to cup football, form and league ranking goes out of the window. It all comes down to who wants it most on the day.”