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Week 17 Preview – Stafford Town

There was no doubt that last week’s home opener was a pretty big deal. 2,012 fans made it so, as did the story of the match, as the Ravens came from behind to clinch victory over Brocton.

Now however, fixtures at the Bowl will become a matter of routine as we look forward to playing six of our next eight matches at home.

It’s been another busy week for the team. Following the euphoria of last week’s win over Brocton, the team travelled to Shropshire for a mid-week clash with bottom of the table St Martins which the Ravens won comfortably.

Tomorrow we welcome fellow play off hopefuls, Stafford Town to the Isle of Man.

Our Opponents this Week

As their name suggests, Stafford Town are based in Stafford and were formed in 1976.

They have experienced various degrees of success in a number of regional leagues down the years, the most notable being crowned West Midlands League Premier Division champions in 2000.

The Reds were moved to the North West Counties Football League Division One (South) at the start of this season as part of the Football Association’s reshuffle of the National League System and current ly sit eighth in the table, just four points behind the Ravens.

Town enjoyed a decent October, winning four of their six matches culminating in last week’s impressive victory over promotion challenging Abbey Hey.

FC Isle of Man Team News

Mid-week games can cause some difficulties regarding player availability which often provides manager, Chris Bass some headaches when selecting a team. However, there was a good news story this week as long-term injury casualty, Alex Harrison finally made his FC Isle of Man debut after 19 months of rehabilitation, coming on for the last five minutes at St Martins on Tuesday.

With Chris Cannell successfully also coming back from injury, Bass is finally starting to get more players back from what has been, at times, an exhaustive injury list. It is expected that most of the big hitters will be available for tomorrow’s fixture, so the Boss will have quite a few headaches in just picking a sixteen-man squad, never mind a starting eleven.

The Ravens strikers are on fire at present. Sean Doyle has, quite rightly, taken the headlines recently, but Furo Davies is starting to hit form. Two goals in the FA Vase at Billingham two weeks ago were followed up with a hat trick at St Martins mid-week. Luke Murray, too is back on the goal trail, bagging twice in the last two games. It will be interesting to see what Bass does with his attacking weapons this week.

This is another vital period for the Ravens. Now placed fifth and officially in the play off positions, Stafford Town will be out to spoil the party and keep their own play off push on course.

The players were galvanised by the much awaited support of their own fans last week, and they will be looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.

So again, we urge come to the Bowl tomorrow night and help to unleash your Ravens!