There's a precautionary morning inspection planned for 9.30 (Saturday) but our hosts are confident of this one going ahead as battle lines are drawn. The Holy Blues will no doubt see this one & the next (against Basford, a week on Saturday) as crucial 'six-pointers' as they look to avoid becoming embroiled in the relegation dog-fight. Defeats would see both sides able to close the gap, that currently stands at eleven (Colls) and six (Basford) points. Gainsborough will be looking to avenge back to back 2-0 defeats to Morpeth Town and FC United of Manchester, as they travel to Atherton, a side who are battling for their lives to get out of the relegation zone.

The reverse fixture was a great day for Trinity and a result we will be hoping for a repeat of as we beat Atherton 4-1 at the KAL Group Stadium. Dayle Southwell (formerly of Alfreton Town) scored two of our goals, and Dylan Cogill and Joel Holvey were our other goal-scorers, Jordan Scanlon scored a penalty for our opponents.

In the aftermath of the game earlier in the season, 'keeper Dylan Wharton was rocked by health concerns that threatened to end his playing career, and sparking a number of temporary goalkeeper moves, before his return between the sticks on New Year's Day. With six players donning the gloves in competitive fixtures this campaign...

it might not come as a surprise to know that the Colls have also had some upheaval in the goalkeeping department. Their current number one, and former Curzon Ashton goalkeeper is a serving policeman & when he hasn't been fighting crime, he has been between the sticks for our hosts. When duty calls for Josh Ollerenshaw though, that's one of Atherton's difficult dilemmas.

On top of losing Nico Defreitas-Hansen, who started the season as first choice, struggled with injuries, but has now lined up a move to America as the great American dream beckons for the shot-stopper. Jack Buckley, Joe O'Shaugnhessy, Kai Calderbank-Park have also pulled on the gloves, with Calderbank-Park the current holder of the gloves!

One thing very unlikely in an Atherton game is a goalless draw, goals is always a guarantee for Atherton. Atherton haven’t had a 0-0 draw in the league, since the 18th October 2022 (0-0 to Warrington Rylands.) Atherton have gone five consecutive league games where they have conceded three goals. As well as this in Atherton’s last five home games they have conceded 3+ goals showing that home and away the defence is still extremely leaky.

Atherton’s clear and obvious defensive vulnerabilities need to be taken advantage of and Trinity's attack will be tempted by this challenge. Atherton’s home record is something the Holy Blues will be looking to compound more misery onto, the Colls have picked up 10 points from a possible 39 and have the third worst defensive record in the league. Saturday’s fixture will also be seen as a huge opportunity for us to improve our poor away record where we have taken seven points from a possible 36 points on the road.

Trinity will be raring to go and ready to avenge our recent form with a vital game in the Holy Blues' season! Once again, Bobby Johnson is absent. He is still to serve the second game of his two match ban for the red card he received on January 13th. He'll be sure to be ready to channel his frustrations in the right way when he can finally put this suspension behind him. Danny Devine will be looking to cement his spot in the middle of the Gainsborough midfield & in turn give Russ Wilcox something of a selection headache (hopefully) next weekend.

Heading to the Skuna, should the game pass that precautionary inspection... the address is Alder Street, Atherton, M46 9EY. Tickets cost £10 adults, £7 concessions & £4 under 18s. Under 11s go free. All pay on the gate.

And unable to make the game, there will be commentary to keep you up to speed on the events at the Skuna! Listen in here, on our Mixlr Radio Channel - Gainsborough Trinity Radio!


Ashton United vs Guiseley
Basford United vs Hyde United
Ilkeston Town vs Lancaster City
Morpeth Town vs Bamber Bridge
Warrington Rylands vs Matlock Town
Whitby Town vs FC United of Manchester
Workington vs Bradford (Park Avenue)
Worksop Town vs Radcliffe

Preview by Rob Hughes & James Whitbread
Images courtesy of our friend Lewis McKenna at FC United of Manchester | @lewismckennaphotography [Instagram]