by Peter Scherer
This weekend’s visitors Witton Albion have been short on games recently, with a number of postponements.
Currently 21st in the NPL table, one point behind Mickleover, they have identical goal difference, but four games in hand.
They have only played three league games in the last two months, with a 0-1 defeat at Matlock last Saturday, a 1-1 at home to Gainsborough and a 1-4 defeat at home to Warrington. Their last win being on October 26th at home to Atherton.
First choice goalkeeper Greg Hall returned to the club at the start of this season, having left two years earlier for local rivals Nantwich.
He started out at Glossop North End, moving on via Ramsbottom, 1874 Northwich and Ashton Utd, before his first stop at Witton in July 2019.
Full back Isaac Baldwin is a former Huddersfield Junior who arrived from Farsley Celtic in 2017 initially on loan, he previously played for Spennymoor, Ossett, Halifax and Brighouse Town.
Josh Wardle is a central defender who started at Lancaster City, before making his first move to Kendal Town. He captained Liverpool John Moores University and after a year at Skelmersdale, arrived at Witton for the 2018/19 season and is currently team captain.
Joe Ferguson is a right back currently on an extended loan from Blackburn Rovers, where he has been playing in their Under 23 side.
Central midfielder Ben Pleavin had been at Manchester Utd’s youth set up before moving to Blackburn Rovers, where he spent a year before joining Accrington. He is currently on loan until next month.
Midfield or striker Rob Hopley was initially a youth team player at Macclesfield, before moving on to Winsford and Leek.
He then had a long spell at Colwyn Bay, spending almost eight years at the club, with only a brief spell away at Chester, before coming to Witton in 2015.
He is one of Witton’s top scorers in the clubs history, having netted 85 times up to the end of last season. Currently dual registered with Winsford, he has recently recovered from a serious leg injury and has been the club captain.
Wing back or midfielder Tom Owens started out at Preston North End. He played at Marine and had a short spell at Witton before venturing overseas to the US and Australia. He came back to Witton in September 2017 from Brunswick City.
Midfielder James Foley is one of Witton’s long serving players, having been signed from Marine in 2017. He started at AFC Liverpool before joining Macclesfield Town juniors. He moved on to Buckley Town and Camell Laird, before his three year spell at Marine. He is the Witton penalty taker.
Jawad Jebrin is another attacking midfielder and former Warrington Town junior. He has also played for St Helens.
Cesaire Lingoube played junior football at Morecambe and Stalybridge, before moving on to Droylsden and Northwich in 2017. The striker or midfielder had his first spell at Witton in October 2020 before joining Matlock Town.
Former Bolton Wanderers Junior midfielder Danny McKenna originally had a dual registration with Witton and Runcorn, but has been full time at Witton since September 2017.
Striker Will Jones came from Colwyn Bay in 2017, having spent most of his career in the North West with Bootle, South Sefton, AFC Liverpool, Burscough, Nantwich, Marine and Warrington.
Callum Saunders was new signing at the beginning of the season from Nantwich. Son of Welsh International and former Rams star Dean, Callum is a Welsh under 19 and 21 international himself. He came through the Crewe Academy and has played at Notts County and Curzon Ashton too.
Striker James Lawrie is capped by Northern Ireland at full, B, under 21, 19 and17 levels, having started his career at Port Vale.
After 30 games and two goals in Leagues One and Two and a loan at Kidderminster, he moved on to Telford Utd, before a lengthy stay at Altrincham, scoring 51 goals in 275 appearances.
Moving on to Hednesford in June 2017, he then joined Nantwich a year later, when he remained until signing for Witton last September.
Nick Ryan is a centre back who joined Witton from Stalybridge in 2017. After multiple leg fractures in 2018, he missed a whole season, before going out to Runcorn Linnets to regain his fitness and a return to Witton.
Josh Paterson is new to the first team squad, the midfielder having come through Witton’s own youth scheme.
Defender Josh Agbozo was a Shrewsbury Academy player, signed in November, having been at Chorley where he had a dual registration with Leek Town.
Second choice keeper Raj Gill is a former Leicester City Junior. After a spell at Kettering he played for Frederico Mayo in Spain and has had spells at Tamworth, Cirencester and Alvechurch, before arriving at Witton September last year.
Kick off at the Don Amott Arena is 3pm as usual with the bar and food available pre kick off.