Following the cancellation of two matches in all competitions, FC St Helens are back on the road for a second consecutive league fixture – on the back of a 3-1 win at Ashton Athletic last time out.

With 55 points on the board, the gap at the top of the table remains at 10 points, with three of the chasing pack now on 45, including Ashton Town, who have recently emerged to the fore as the nearest challengers.

Tom Scarborough celebrates - image by Mark Gambles
Tom Scarborough celebrates / image by Mark Gambles

Steeton, at the opposite end of the table, have a reasonably secure gap of their own, with seven points and a game in hand over the relegation zone. But they’ll still be looking over their shoulders, for the 11 matches that remain.

What happened, last time?

Last time the two sides met, the league-leaders made it eight matches unbeaten in all competitions on home soil for the season. A resounding 5-0 win saw Joe Barker the star of the show once again, scoring four with his first of two successive match balls, while Joe Doyle concluded a five-star performance.

Joe Barker challenges for the ball - image by Mark Gambles
Joe Barker challenges for the ball – image by Mark Gambles

FC St Helens

In what has been a remarkable campaign for Mike Smith’s men, FC St Helens have cruised to the top, dropping just 17 points from a possible 72.

After a long winless run between October and November, they appear to have come out the other side unscathed and back to their best, with an unbeaten run that has been extended to six matches highlighting their promotion credentials.

Josh Hall converts a penalty - image by Mark Gambles
Josh Hall converts a penalty – image by Mark Gambles


In a sequence of eight matches without a win, seven of which have been in the league, it’s safe to say that victories haven’t been easy to come by for The Chevrons. Six of their seven wins in the league came in their first 12 fixtures and their last triumph was on October 14 when a Tobias Jeffrey brace got the better of fellow-strugglers, Shelley.

With that, you’d have to feel that this encounter will be a foregone conclusion, but Smith’s side won’t take their hosts lightly with the two sides having differing, but equally significant priorities in mind.

Ones to watch:

Brad Green

A frequent fixture in a fantastic footballing side this season, Green has displayed some excellent performances, particularly in recent fixtures. With talent and perseverance in equal measure, he’ll have played a significant part should The Stripes manage to get promotion over the line.

Brad Green attempts a shot - image by Mark Gambles
Brad Green attempts a shot / image by Mark Gambles

Jake Townsend

Six goals for the season sees Townsend top the ranks, as far as goalscoring is concerned for Steeton. He just gets the better of Josh Coe, who has five in his locker.

However, the combined goal tally of the two is just 16 fewer than the entire club’s total in the league, having scored just 27 – which is only two more than Barker on his own this season.

With three goals from his opening four matches, Townsend’s ability to find the net has been tempered ever so slightly, but with an average of one in four matches, his goals, four of which have been in wins, could prove integral in his team’s fight to keep their head above water.