STANLEY take a break from their relentless pursuit of the Unibond Premier League title this week.
They are without a match tomorrow due to a fixture being brought forward earlier in the campaign and they have cup action at the Crown Ground on Wednesday evening.
But in a season which has seen them generally give low priority to cup competition, they do have a massive opportunity to claim a spot in one final when they play host to Unibond First Division outfit Kendal Town in the semi-final of the LFA Marsden Lancashire Trophy on Wednesday night.
Stanley collected the first of their three trophies last season by beating Barrow 2-0 in the final of the Marsden Trophy at Morecambe last April. Kendal Town stand a respectable sixth in their division but suffered a whacking 8-2 defeat away to Bamber Bridge in midweek.
The other semi-final, also scheduled for Wednesday, sees the only remaining Conference representatives, Leigh RMI, play host to Chorley. No date or venue has yet been decided for the final.
Reds, 11 points clear atop the Unibond Premier Division, next taste league action a week tomorrow when they travel to Sandy Lane to face Worksop Town. That match had been in doubt owing to Worksop's involvement in the FA Trophy but they have now been eliminated so the fixture goes ahead as planned. Worksop are one of the few sides who could mathematically catch Stanley were they to collapse.
The Easter Monday match at home to Lancaster City on 21 April has now been given a 7.45 kick-off at the request of the visitors.
Stanley have released midfielder Gary Sampson to join Radcliffe Borough. Former Manchester United trainee Sampson made just two league starts after joining Reds in summer, marking his full debut with a goal against Colwyn Bay.
Unusually, a number of John Coleman's summer and autumn signings have left - Sampson, Mark Sertori, Barry Shuttleworth and Tony Black - but Mike Marsh and Dean Calcutt have made a big impact while later signings such as Rory Prendergast, Andy Gouck and Michael Knowles have kept the squad up to strength in terms of numbers and quality. Sampson will link up with Simon Carden. who is currently on loan at Radcliffe.