Salford City host Maidstone United at The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday hoping to extend our current six-match unbeaten run.
In contrast The Stones are on a four-game losing streak and currently occupy 20th, just outside of the relegation zone on goal difference.
The Kent-based side won promotion to the National League in 2015-16 via the play-offs under Jay Saunders, the third promotion in four seasons after Stones were promoted from the Ryman League Division One South in 2012-13, and from the Ryman Premier Division to the National League South in 2014-15.
They have since finished in 14th and 19th last season, six points clear of the relegation zone after a good run of form at the end of the season. The Stones’ home ground, The Gallagher Stadium, is one of four artificial pitches in the league.
There was a monumental change at Maidstone United when they parted company with Saunders at the end of August following a Bank Holiday defeat to Boreham Wood. It ended a seven-year tenure for Saunders, and Steve Watt – who was brought in as assistant in the summer – is in temporary charge for now.
Despite some good signings in the summer, Stones only managed two wins from their opening seven games which may have triggered memories of a 17-game winless run last season, and they now have an important appointment to make.
On the road Maidstone have won just once, a 2-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge in the opening week of the season.
The Stones don’t arrive at The Peninsula Stadium in good form having lost their last four, and they haven’t scored in the last two. Top scorer Blair Turgott was sent off late in the game at Gateshead last weekend and will be missing; a minute later Gateshead scored from the spot. That was followed up with a 1-0 defeat at home to Sutton United on Tuesday.
Danger Man – Shamir Mullings
The striker signed a one-year-deal at Maidstone in the summer as a free agent, and at 6’5 Mullings is a significant aerial threat and has scored twice this season, both from headers.
The 24-year-old won promotion from the National League via the play-offs with Forest Green Rovers in 2017, and made a handful of league appearances last season. Prior to that he was at Chelmsford City, and he has also turned out for Bromley and Havant & Waterlooville.