Longridge Town head to Chadderton on Saturday after a week off with manager Lee Ashcroft hoping a recent scouting trip will pay off.
It will be Town’s first game in a fortnight following the postponement of last Friday’s home game against AFC Blackpool.
That call-off, along with results elsewhere, saw Town lose top spot in the early stages of the Hallmark Security League First Division North.
They now travel to Oldham on Saturday to meet a Chadderton side currently 14th in the 20-team division, though they could climb into the top half with three points at Steeton on Wednesday.
Ashcroft watched Saturday’s hosts draw 2-2 at Nelson last weekend and was impressed with what he saw.
He said: “I go out when I can to watch teams because we do our homework and we like to know what we are coming up against.
“They had a centre-forward (James Dwyer) who was brilliant but got sent off.
“They will be in our faces and they like to play in a similar way to us.
“I know they might be lower down the table at the moment but I think that’s a false position and they will be in a decent place come the end of the season.”
Last Friday’s postponement was double annoying for Ashcroft in that it should have been the final game of bans for Richie Allen and Tom Ince.
Instead, they are set to miss out this weekend and return for Town’s trip to Atherton LR next Tuesday.
Discipline has been a thorn in Town’s side so far with three red cards in their opening 10 league and cup matches.
“It’s all about consistency from the officials for me,” Ashcroft said.
“I watched Chadderton and Nelson and, for the 90 minutes, the referee got so much stick and did nothing.
“Tom was sent off (against Steeton) and didn’t really say anything bad so there needs to be more consistency.”