SPENNYMOOR manager Jason Ainsley believes that his team will rise to the occasion in their huge second versus third clash at Stockport’s Edgeley Park on Saturday.

Moors head to Stockport for one of their most important league games ever, standing in third place in the table, a point behind Stockport with a game in hand. They are also four points behind leaders Chorley, with two games in hand, putting them on course for an amazing fourth promotion in six seasons.

Moors have displayed some excellent away for this season with nine away wins to their credit so far, and they have won their last seven league matches.

Stockport, meanwhile, have charged up the table in recent weeks, and are unbeaten in 14 league games, plus another seven in cup competitions. Taking into account what’s at stake, County are hoping for a crowd of over 5,000.

“We have put ourselves in a good position,” said Ainsley. “It’s a must-win game for Stockport, because of the game that we have in hand on them, but our main aim will be to come out of the game unscathed. We’ll take a point.

“Our away form has been good this season, and we’ve won at some tough places. Stockport showed how much respect they have for us when they left a few lads out for their Trophy game at Maidstone in midweek.

“To be in this position is fantastic, you would never have thought that a few years ago when we were in the Northern League, we would be battling for promotion from the National League North.

“For me, we need to make sure that we cement our place in the play offs before we start thinking about winning the league. There are still plenty of games left to play after today, no matter what happens.

“This is a great opportunity for the players to shine. They have earned the right with their performance this season to play in a game of this magnitude. I’m sure that they will give everything on the day, just as they do in every game.”

This will be the fourth time that Moors have played Stockport in two seasons, with Moors coming out on top once, a 1-0 win at the Brewery Field last season. Stockport won 3-2 at Edgeley Park last season, and 3-1 at the Brewery Field this season.

“We played them in our first game of last season, and some Stockport fans were saying that they hadn’t heard of us – well they have now.”

Moors owner Brad Groves has laid on free buses to Stockport for Moors’ fans, and around 150 have taken advantage of his generosity.

“It’s sure to be a great occasion, there’s a crowd of around 5,000 expected, which will make it the biggest attendance in the league this season. Our fans have travelled all over the north of England, and they’ve given some great backing. Hopefully we can reward them with another winning performance today.”

Defender Rob Atkinson will be missing because of injury, but midfielder Jake Hibbs will return after injury.

Meanwhile, Moors have decided not to renew the loan of midfielder Liam Agnew from Harrogate, and he has returned to the National Premier club.

In the EvoStik Premier, South Shields are at home to Buxton, while Whitby, who have signed striker Bradley Fewster from Blyth, are at home to Basford.

In the EvoStik League East, Marske face Belper at Mount Pleasant, and Morpeth tackle Spalding.