Confidence in the Gainsborough camp has been enhanced with the morale boosting 6-2 victory over Marske United on Tuesday night. Liam Waldock getting back amongst the goals having not scored in five games. Curtis Durose’s drought had been one longer before his midweek double. And Fraser Preston finally got off the mark with two in nine minutes, having come off the bench with the scoreline evenly placed at two apiece. A slick, stylish performance that saw the Holy Blues net six for the second time this season, halting a disappointing run of form, that had seen Neal Bishop’s young side go three hundred and seventy minutes without a goal.
Speaking after the midweek win at home to Marske, and looking ahead to the upcoming double header, boss Neal Bishop was decidedly bullish, "It’s fantastic. Why wouldn’t you want to be involved in games like this? You don’t want to be down in the bottom half or in mid-table. You want to be up there and challenging, playing these clubs with something on the line. That’s certainly what it is. We go there on Saturday wanting and hoping to have a plan for us to win the game. Tough place to go, they’ve got one of the best home records in the league, we got well turned over there last season, so that sticks in my mind to put that right, but I hope that gives the lads the confidence that I’ve got, that we have got in them, because we are a match for anyone in this division. It’s one result, and I don’t want to get carried away, but we looked like the Gainsborough Trinity we want to be."
Led by Jamie Milligan, the former England U21 International, Brig have been in fine form at home, losing only once on their own patch. Radcliffe defeating Bamber Bridge on Bonfire Night, to inflict their only league defeat – to date. Four draws have come against Marske, Liversedge, Marine and Stalybridge. Eye catching 5-1 victories against Matlock Town and Belper, serve as a stark warning that the Holy Blues will need to be on top form to take anything back to Lincolnshire come 5pm.
With smiles on faces, Trinity are ready to take on the team with the second best home record (just under 2.2 points per game) and the Blues, in grey, shouldn’t have anything to fear. Despite the Blues’ recent blip, Trinity remain top of the away form table, having amassed 27 points from fifteen games, an average of 1.8 points per game.
Fin Sinclair-Smith leads the goalscoring charts for Bamber Bridge. He’s on ten for the season, with four coming in January. Scoring two against Marine and two against Belper Town. It has been well documented in these previews how well our front axle have been performing, but with the movement of Regan Linney to Altrincham and Callum Dolan to Fleetwood, there is the very real chance for Clayton Donaldson , and Waldock, to make it a Gainsborough Trinity one-two at the top of the Northern Premier League scoring charts. Something that would be a magnificent achievement for the two of our players in our 150th year!
In comparison, Bamber Bridge have a -2 goal difference, having scored 44, but conceded 46 times in the league. Trinity have conceded on average a goal a game, but scored 53 (a +25 goal difference, the highest scorers in the division). This all makes for an enthralling fixture at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, as I am sure many interested eyes will be drawn to this one!
In recent time, five wins have gone the way of the Holy Blues, however Bamber Bridge have won two of the last three meetings between the clubs. A 1-2 victory over Trinity earlier this campaign. And a 5-1 win at the Sir Tom Finney last season, in the opening couple of weeks of the season. Sandwiched between those games was a Cieron Keane inspired victory, with his goal earning him the Goal of the Month award for December, as Trinity picked up three valuable points. Gainsborough will be hopeful of a victory that keeps us firmly in the hunt for the play-offs… and maybe more as matchday approaches!
The postcode for the Sir Tom Finney Stadium is PR5 6UX, with admission prices set at £12, £8, £2. Accompanied Under 11s are free, and there are also discounts for EFL/ Premier League Season Ticket holders, able to gain entry for £8. Both cash and card payments can be accepted on the turnstiles.
Departing: We can confirm the departure of Jamie Bramwell. Bramwell returns to his parent club Grimsby Town having made three appearances for the Holy Blues, all away from home, in games against Morpeth, Liversedge and Stalybridge Celtic. We thank Jamie for his efforts with Gainsborough, and wish him well in his future endeavours.
As always, in a super tight league, there are plenty of fixtures to whet the appetite, and as teams have proven on countless occasions this season, anyone can take points off anyone else! And, I fully expect there to be some interesting results come 5pm. With plenty more twists and turns to follow in the final couple of months of an engaging 2022/23 season.
Ashton United vs Radcliffe
Belper Town vs Marine
Guiseley vs Stafford Rangers
Lancaster City vs FC United of Manchester
Liversedge vs Nantwich Town
Marske United vs Hyde United
Matlock Town vs Warrington Town
Morpeth Town vs Atherton Collieries
Stalybridge Celtic vs Whitby Town
Warrington Rylands vs South Shields
Preview by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)