The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 31st December 2011
....hope of making a flying start to the New Year.
Liam Shotton's return from Stafford Rangers, where he scored once, has given the squad a boost - Andy Kinsey appears to be easing his way back while Dave Walker is scoring goals regularly. All three figured in the Boxing Day home draw with Newcastle Town and should be part of manager Peter Ward's plans for Monday's visit to Leek Town.
Ward enthuses over the return of Shotton, main picture on loan or more permanently. It is his third spell with Grove and Ward knows all about him.
He said: "Liam is a big, strong lad with loads of pace, but he is probably best described as unpredictable.
"That's what you get, but we had four approaches for him last year.
"He is lively and can be a handful. You just hope he has more of those handful days."
Kinsey could still have a hernia problem, but he played for 20 minutes against Castle, while Walker, also still not 100 per cent fit, has scored three goals in the last four games.
Kidsgrove are third from bottom as they head to Leek, where Ward expects a hard-fought battle.
He said: "Leek are going well and there are a lot of connections between the two clubs. We are looking to make a good start to 2012 and I hope we can cause them some problems.
"The pitch will be heavy so we will have to take that into consideration when we pick the team."
Andy Taylor returns from suspension to play against his former club. Paul Taylor, another Leek old boy, is getting back to fitness.
But skipper Craig Dove is banned and Sam Hall (ankle) is unfit.
Ward admitted he was pleased to take a point from the Newcastle Town game in which they were down to ten-men for the last 20 minutes following the dismissal of Mark Beeston.
"Castle were decent, but I was disappointed with their goal that squirmed through our keeper," he said.