The Rangers Return. Not quite the soap opera, but two from our club make a return to Bower Fold this Saturday. Steve Burr was the Stalybridge manager when we played them last season along with player, Theo Bailey-Jones. The game also continues the non-league old firm Celtic – Rangers derby.

We are hoping to get our first double of the season, while, obviously Staybridge will be looking to avenge the 2-0 victory we imposed on them earlier this season, when we had Joe Cuff and an Izaak Reid penalty on the scoresheet. Form guide suggests that our third away league win of the season may be difficult, but this is football we are talking about and anything can happen.

Stalybridge are 11th in the league with 26 points from their 20 games, compared to our 20 points from 19. At home, Stalybridge have won 5, drawn 4 and lost 2. They can count an impressive home win over Gainsborough, and their only home defeats have been to high flyers Scarborough and South Shields. This fixture suggests goals will be scored, but to which side. At home Stalybridge have scored 18 but conceded 14, while we need to build on our 7 scored and 17 against on our travels.

The Stalybridge website is a feast of statistical information and they show that since 1992/93 this actual fixture is quite close. Stalybridge have 5 wins to our 4 with one game drawn, and Stalybridge edge the scoring by 16 to 13.

So if you need to get away from Christmas shopping take a trip to Bower Fold to cheer on their Rangers. Their ground is quite easy to get to by road and has a good-sized car park, and the ground is a 20-minute walk from the railway station with Stafford to Stalybridge requiring just one change.

Games played on this date this century, (8th December)

2001       Havant &Waterlooville      H             0-2          Southern League

2007       Aldershot                             A             3-4          Conference

2012       Matlock                                A             3-2          Northern Premier League

2015       Kidsgrove                            H             2-2          Integro League Cup         win 5-3 on penalties