Blues face a battle against Kidsgrove with local bragging rights very much at stake

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LOCAL bragging rights will be very much at stake when Leek Town and Kidsgrove Athletic clash in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League West Division tomorrow (Jan 19).

Yet another feisty affair is predicted when these two rivals North Staffordshire rivals square up against each other at Kidsgrove. .

Leek face a tough task in attempting to remain in the play-off placings (5th) having failed to win any of the last seven confrontations between the two clubs.

The Blues haven’t won at Kidsgrove since January 3 2015, when Tim Grice netted a hat-trick in a 3-1 success, while the Grove haven’t beaten their visitors at home since a 2-0 verdict in January 2014.

Another close encounter is therefore expected though Blues should be on a high after defeating league leaders Radcliffe FC  2-1 last weekend.

That victory, achieved in a bruising encounter at Harrison Park, has however left its mark(s) on Neil Baker’s side with several players finding themselves in the treatment room this week.

It was a physical game,” Baker, pictured, told  The Sentinel’s Jim Hannah. “I’ve one or two players nursing knocks, but not too seriously I don’t think.

“ Aaron Bott and Niall Maguire were both struggling before the Radcliffe but played, while Niall Green wasn’t 100 per cent and Dan Trickett-Smith picked up a slight thigh strain.

It’s going to be a tough one for us. We are going really well at the monent

for us. We are going really well at the moment, but I really do think Kidsgrove are in a false position [12th].

“They have some good players and a good manager [Ryan Austin], so we will have to be on top of our game.

“I know the league table says they have only won twice at home this season, but that will mean nothing on Saturday,” he added.