Hoppers welcome Macclesfield

Date: 08 October 2018

Hoppers host ‘bottom-of-the-league’ Macclesfield this coming Saturday for their third home game of 2018 in what is a sharp contrast from when they last opposed each other at Lightfoot Green when the visitors topped National 2 North on their way to promotion.

Whilst Hoppers were losing at Wharfedale last week, our visitors notched their first victory of the season at against Otley, at Priory Park.

It was a disappointed band of supporters that journeyed home from Wharfedale last Saturday evening, many of whom had once again witnessed their favourites losing a game they thought could have been won, the last quarter once again being their team’s Achilles’ heel. Of the one hundred and sixty points conceded so far this season, over a third have been conceded during this phase of the game whilst Hoppers score nearly three quarters of there’s during the first half.

Before last week’s success our visitors had lost at South Leicester, Fylde and Sedgley Park whilst both Chester and Huddersfield have defeated them on home soil. Notably all five of these clubs currently sit in positions third to seventh in the table, so it hasn’t been an easy start to the season for ‘The Blues’. It’s worth adding that Hoppers have also faced four of those already this season.

Prior to this seasons fixture, the two teams last met in National 2 North action during 2015/16 and before that 2013/14 when on both occasions our visitors were on their way to promotion,

Macclesfield being victorious in all four games. In fact the Cheshire side have run out victors in the last eight meetings between the two sides. The last Hoppers success coming at the fixture in Cheshire back during January 2008 when Adam Crisp scored both of Hoppers of tries in a twenty six points to twelve victory. Hoppers did the double that season, winning sixteen points to twelve in a closer game at Lightfoot Green when Craig and Wayne Steel locked the scrum.

Competitive games between the two clubs go back to 1993 when the first meeting took place at Lightfoot Green on the 6th of November, Hoppers taking the spoils eighteen points to ten.

There have been twenty one meetings between the two clubs at 1st XV level, with our visitors having the edge by just a couple of victories with one game drawn thirty six all. Victories in league fixtures has the advantage in Macclesfield’s favour by nine to six. The points total of thirty six from the drawn game at Priory Park on the 24th of September 2005 still stands as a Preston Grasshoppers record in tied league games.

Team News

Hoppers starting lineup sees one change from the game at Wharfedale with Alex Hurst returning from injury to replace the unavailable James Fitzpatrick. Head Coach Paul Arnold returns on the bench in place of Jack Edwards.

1. Oga Mabaya
2. PJ Millea (C)
3. Peter Altham
4. Luke Procter
5. Alastair Murray
6. Rouban Birch
7. Teddy Leatherbarrow
8. Matthew Lamprey

9. James Gough
10. Thomas Davidson
11. Conor Trueman
12. Sam Stott
13. Alex Hurst
14. Tyler Spence
15. Alex Ward

16. Noah Miller
17. Oliver Trippier
18. Paul Arnold
19. Jake Squirrell
20. Matt Crow

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