Preston Grasshoppers vs. Huddersfield
Preston Grasshoppers will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face the first of three Yorkshire sides in their next trio of home fixture in the New Year. Huddersfield are the first of these and come to Lightfoot Green boasting a higher league position than their hosts from what has been a good season for the ‘Yorkies’ to date.
The game at Lockwood Park earlier in the season (pictured above, photo by Mike Craig) was one of a number during that period where Hoppers let a big lead slip away, something that has been worked on and corrected since early November.
The home side will be looking to extend their impressive home record this season which going back to April 2017 shows just one defeat from twenty outings at Lightfoot Green.
A look at the current league table shows our visitors five points and a game in hand above ourselves. Whilst Huddersfield have scored less points than Hoppers and ten others, they have the second best defensive record in the league, conceding an average of eighteen points a game compared to Hoppers twenty six. On the points for side things are fairly even with Hoppers averaging twenty six to our visitors twenty five
At the beginning of last season Hoppers took Huddersfield’s place in the Northern Premier League with the Yorkshire side having won promotion as undefeated Champions at the first attempt after being relegated from N2N. Huddersfield followed that impressive achievement with a successful return to the National Leagues’ finishing in sixth place last term, one place below their current position.
Meetings between the two clubs go back to the late 1950’s when Hoppers made the first journey over the Pennines to play Huddersfield on the 29thof March 1958 at The Waterloo Ground, which is now occupied by a Morrisons Supermarket.
It wasn’t a lucky trip for the travellers as the home team ran out comprehensive victors, 29 points to 9; in fact it took eight visits to Huddersfield before Hoppers eventually gained a win there in 1965.
The playing record between this week’s opponents sits in favour of Huddersfield by thirtytwo victories against twenty six to Hoppers with two matches ending all square and one being cancelled. Our visitors edged ahead in successful league encounters courtesy of their victory back in September and have now won eight games to Hoppers seven.
There have been four other meeting between the two teams, all of which were pre-season practice games. The first three of these being played at Lockwood Park with the latest at the start of last season at Lightfoot Green. Preston Grasshoppers won all three in Yorkshire whilst Huddersfield won last season’s encounter.
Hoppers name their side with a debut for South African Ryan Carlson and a first start for Sale Sharks loanee Nathan Pope at full back.
1. Oga MABAYA
2. PJ MILLEA (C)
3. Peter ALTHAM
4. Ryan CARLSON
5. Adam HOWARD
6. Ally MURRAY
7. Jack EDWARDS
8. Matt LAMPREY
9. James GOUGH
10. Thomas DAVIDSON
11. Conor TRUEMAN
12. James FITZPATRICK
13. Matt CROW
14. Tyler SPENCE
15. Nathan POPE
16. Josh PURCELL
17. Oli Trippier
18. Chris RODDY
19. Sam STOTT
20. Alex WARD
Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Mark Pease, Will Milner, Lewis Workman, Chris Johnson, Jack Maplesden; Harry Whitfield, Fran Entressengle, Adam Blades, Guy Borrowdale, Nick Sharpe, Ross Thornton, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper(C)
Replacements: Alex Battye, Liam Parfitt, Matt Dunn, Joe Green, Elliot Knight