Non-League football: Leek to honour club legend McMullen
LEEK TOWN will honour club legend Chris McMullen when they take on Radcliffe Borough in the FA Trophy at Harrison Park tomorrow.
The midfielder, who made more 405 appearances for Blues, including leading them out at Wembley in the 1990 FA Trophy final against Barrow, died of liver cancer on Wednesday.
Injury ended his playing career in the 1992/93 season, but he went on to enjoy a successful spell as manager of Leek CSOB, where he later became chairman.
Leek go into the first qualifying round tie favourites to beat Radcliffe, who are 15th in Evo-Stik Division One North.
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Town, unbeaten in their last four games, have found goals easy to come by in recent weeks, especially since the arrival of former Southport forward Peter Wright.
But manager Lee Casswell made sure to praise the performances of summer signing Danny Smith, who has been helping keep the door shut at the other end as full-back.
He said: "I always admired Danny during his days with Kidsgrove, and (Leek coach) Kenny Scragg had worked with him at Blue Mugge too.
"He's been superb, and that solid defence gives a platform for our strikers to build on."
John Diskin says NEWCASTLE TOWN are taking nothing for granted ahead of their first qualifying round tie with struggling Hucknall.
Castle got their season off to a flier, but a six-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat on Sutton Coldfield's artificial pitch last Saturday.
Manager Diskin has boosted his squad with the signings of Nantwich right-back and long-throw expert Matt Lowe, and Romulus striker Chris Morris.
But he is confident no-one will take anything for granted in their first qualifying round tie against a Hucknall side who have lost five of their seven opening Evo-Stik League Division One South fixtures.
"We started the season quite well and collected a few wins, but last weekend brought us back to reality," he said.
"We are quite a young, inexperienced team, even though we have brought a couple of lads in. We know we are a work in progress and we are not getting carried away.
"I think Hucknall have had a reduced budget this year and, like us last season, they have a lot of younger lads as they do some team-building.
"We should have beaten them at home in August and we know we will have to go out with the right attitude if we want to get a result."
NANTWICH will try to transfer their superb away form to home territory when they entertain Redditch United in a first qualifying round tie.
The Dabbers have won their last three away games, including last week's 3-2 victory at Rushall Olympic which lifted them into the play-off places in fourth spot.
But they have found life harder at Weaver Stadium, and will play on home turf for the first time tomorrow since a 3-0 defeat to AFC Fylde.
They have no injury worries, but defender JJ Bailey has joined Market Drayton.
The Evo-Stik Premier Division side face a struggling Redditch side. They are fifth-from-bottom of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
Nantwich boss Jimmy Quinn said: "Our home form hasn't been excellent, and it's something we need to rectify if we want to be a dominant side in the division. Redditch will provide a stern test, but I'm confident we'll win."
STAFFORD RANGERS will be looking to bounce back from last week's FA Cup exit when they head to Southern League Division One Central side Rugby Town. And manager Greg Clowes has had his players watch a video of the final stages of their cup collapse at Gresley to highlight where it went wrong.
"When you are 2-0 up you have to be mean and shut up shop," he explained.
"We are not keeping clean sheets – once we start doing that we will start winning games.
"No-one is more disappointed about going out of the cup than me, but I believe in these players.
"At least we have another cup tie and the chance to put some things right."
Jon Sheldon came off the bench during the 3-2 loss at Gresley to make his first appearance of the season following knee surgery, and is likely to play tomorrow.
KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC have called up former Port Vale goalkeeper Adam Wilkes for their potentially money-spinning tie at home to Stamford.
Wilkes has been drafted into the squad because regular number one, Dave Dyson, is still honeymooning.
Grove have painful memories of their last collision with Stamford earlier this month when striker Andy Kinsey was sent off for retaliation.
He misses tomorrow's re-match because the midweek postponement against Newcastle prevented him completing his three-match ban.
Tomorrow's winners will receive £2,500, and club chairman John Rowley said: "We could do with winning because we don't have a home game for a fortnight and so we've got no income coming in."