Rubber And Plastic

I hope you don't mind if this preview is shorter than usual because, after doing three of these already for a game against Woodley this season, the well is running somewhat dry for this, the fourth encounter.

Since that week at the beginning of September when Woodley overturned us twice, the fortunes of both clubs have undergone a change and in Sports' case, a rather drastic one that. After hitting a dodgy patch in terms of results, Chris Willcock made a series of personnel changes that failed to arrest the slide, the low point of which being 6 - 1 hammering by Curzon at the Tameside Stadium.

Now I'm fully aware that we were on the receiving end of a thumping at the same place last weekend but believe me (and this may be hard to imagine), it was nowhere near as bad at the complete shoeing Woodley got. Honestly, the away side could have had no complaints if the total Curzon scored was preceded by a one.

The demeanour of the manager on the Woodley bench as the goals flew in was one of somebody contemplating what to do with the spare time he'd have on Saturday's after the game had finished but he's still there and results have begun to pick up over the last two weeks; winning their last home match against Lancaster City and coming away from Skelmersdale and Clitheroe within the past seven days with draws.

Mossley's bane in those games earlier this season, Sergio Mario-Daniel, has thankfully departed to pastures new, leaving only Liam Higginbotham and Russell Headley as the familiar faces in their side from our battles in recent years.

Our last visit to Woodley in January 2006 was the infamous 5-0 hammering we got after our previous manager gave Woodley their teamtalk via the local press. Happily this time round it's all quiet on the 'their cup-final' front.

Prediction: Sitting squarely on the fence... a draw.