Broadstreet the visitors to Lightfoot Green

Date: 27 January 2016

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Broadstreet – Kick Off 2.30pm

Preston Grasshoppers welcome Broadstreet to Lightfoot Green next Saturday for their fourth visit to Preston. With the previous three proving fruitless, Hoppers will be hoping to maintain the trend and in so doing avenge a poor performance in Coventry back in October.

The visitors currently occupy one of the relegation positions in National 2 North but with most of the second half of the season still to play, will be hoping to emulate last season when they were in a similar position at one time but come the end of April finished comfortably in the top half of the table.

‘Street lost by just a single point last week to Caldy at the Ivor Preece Field and before that have comfortably beaten Sale at home and lost narrowly at Chester. The signs are that they will be doughty opponents on Saturday and Hoppers will need to take their recent form into the game in an effort to defeat a side desperate to climb away from the drop zone. Broadstreet have had just one success on the road this season from nine trips away from Coventry, but that was a notable one over Sandal.

Hoppers recent good form continued with last weeks victory over high flying Stourbridge, who to be fair were unable to field a number of notable regulars, a fact the home side could also make carrying on their recent excellent run extending an unbeaten sequence to five games and just one defeat in eight since early November. A side which were labelled the best side Caldy had played this season only a couple of weeks ago, had a dispirited look about them during the closing stages of the game. This was undoubtedly due to the way Hoppers pack dominated proceedings from start to finish, creating indiscipline amongst the visitors and allowing Sean Taylor to take full advantage.

The first meeting between Broadstreet and Hoppers was on the 19th of October 2002 at Lightfoot Green when the home side ran out winners by thirty four points to twenty. The reverse fixture gave ‘Street’ their first victory to date over Hoppers, twenty six points to twenty. Olly Viney, Gary Monaghan and Paul Bailey scoring a try each for the visitors.

Broadstreet gained promotion from Midlands 1 a couple of seasons ago as champions by a comfortable seventeen point margin and although they started last season somewhat unsteadily, they recovered with a run of good results and ended the season in the top half of the table. During last season the home side had close links with National 1 club Coventry and no doubt benefited from the situation.

There have been just seven meetings between the two clubs in the past with both Hoppers and Broadstreet sharing the honours with three victories a’peace, the other match ended in a ten all draw at the Ivor Preece Field.

Photo by kind permission of Mike Craig – Coach Alan Holmes leads by example, showing the type of determination which gave Hoppers the edge last Saturday over Stourbridge. Tom Forster in the background follows up with a bid to steal the ball.

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