Rossendale Preview

Date: 01 February 2018

Preston Grasshoppers host old rival Mark Nelson’s charges from East Lancashire this Saturday when they hope to face Rossendale under rather better weather conditions than experienced at Marl Pits back in October last year.

Words by Mike Forshaw, photo by Mike Craig

After the game earlier this season it was reported that ‘Nellie’ had claimed Hoppers victory that day was the first he’d suffered whilst in charge of a team at the hands of the visitors that day. Although ‘Storm Brian’ might have blowing away his memory as our records don’t agree with the Rossendale Club’s Head Coach’s claim. Perhaps he had a couple of days off during his tenure at Fylde? That’s all history now though and it’s what happens in the next game that counts as both Mark and Arnie’ will be reminding their teams come Saturday just before 2:30 pm!

After completely overwhelming Kendal with a record score for the league this season, Hoppers were brought back into the land of reality when they suffered their first defeat of the season last Saturday up in Cumbria at the hands of Kirkby Lonsdale. The club from the eastern side of the M6 Motorway will no doubt remind their nearest rivals to the west of that fact for many years to come!

Looking forward to Saturday and there’ll be quite a number of familiar faces wearing the maroon shirts which will make the game even more competitive than usual with not only the edge of local rivalry but personal pride at stake on the field. I can think of at least seven or eight players who’ve once worn the navy blue and white currently plying their trade over in East Lancashire, whether they will all appear on the field come Saturday will be in the hands of Rossendale’s Head Coach.

Lightfoot Green will see the second meeting between Rossendale and Preston Grasshoppers senior sides at this venue with the Lancashire Cup semi-final tie in Fulwood back in May 1997 being the opener when the home side ran out comfortable winners to proceed to the Final, playing Orrell at The Woodlands.

Our visitors have had a reasonably successful season to date, winning nine and losing a five but amongst their scalps just a few weeks ago was that of Hoppers recent nemesis Kirkby Lonsdale up in Cumbria. Added to that, Rossendale have won their last five games and will be travelling over to West Lancashire brim full of confidence. Due to adverse weather conditions over in Rawtenstall, our visitors have missed three home games so far this season plus one over in Birkenhead. Hoppers beware as their mid table position shouldn’t be taken as a fair comparison of their abilities.

With next weekend being a rest Saturday for Hoppers, the next trip for the 1869 Club will once again take the band of supporters to new territory. Pocklington over in the East Riding of Yorkshire is the destination and there’s a poster on the noticeboard for the trip with the usual lunch stop en-route. As usual, everyone’s welcome with the fare £15 and accompanied juniors travelling for £5 each. Due to the distance, plus early kick off time the coach departs Lightfoot Green at the rather earlier than usual time of 9:45am and will leave the Yorkshire ground around an hour after the final whistle.

Back to Club News