ALBION Sports’ boss Rizwan Mohammed always expected Campion to be promotion candidates following their rise to the NCEL Premier Division.

Lee Ashforth’s side have been outstanding this season and have made the step up from Division One seamlessly having won ten out of their opening 15 league fixtures.

They currently 1st in the table standings, five points above Silsden in 2nd while Albion find themselves in 5th.

Ahead of tonight’s crunch clash away at the league leaders, Mohammed admitted that he has not been surprised by Campion’s fast start despite them being newcomers to the division.

He said: “They’ve not shocked me one bit. I know a lot of the players; they’ve got a strong squad, a good coach and I always expected them to take to this division well.

“I think one of their biggest assets is that they score a lot of goals; it’s something that you must be very wary of when you play them, and it will be no different for us on Friday when we face them. Of course, players like Marcus Day are a huge threat but they have many avenues in which they can score. With it being a local derby too, a lot of the players on both teams know each other so they’re not loads of specific preparation you can do for a game like this. It’s about which team shows up on the day.”

Mohammed added when discussing his side’s trip to Campion: “It’s a big game, it’s a derby and they’re playing extremely well at the top of the league. Of course, it’s being played on a Friday night too, which was something we agreed with Campion to help with the crowd levels, so that makes it extra special. I don’t think we’ve played a Friday night fixture since the start of the season. We are expecting a very tough game, that’s for sure.”

It's a rarity that Albion find themselves playing on a Friday, but it’s something that their manager is looking forward to.

He said: “The Friday night games do have a bit of a different feel to them, particularly because of the bigger crowds. I think the players on both sides deserve to play in front of larger crowds; the same goes for Campion this Friday too because they’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure they get bigger crowds. I think the same can be said about us too. It’s brilliant for the players because they get to showcase their talent to more people, and because of that they get up for it even more than they would usually.”

Coming into tonight’s fixture, Albion (5th) are winless in four NCEL Premier Division fixtures, but they still remain in touching distance with the teams above them, with only two points separating themselves and Silsden in 2nd.

Reflecting on their recent run, Mohammed said: “We have had a really tough run of fixtures, there’s no denying that. Recently, we’ve played all the top teams in and around us and we’ve also had a very congested schedule because of how far we’ve gone in the FA Vase. I believe we’ve already played 21 games this season in October.

“It’s challenging but I think every team does have a dip in form, and ours could well be now. However, despite that, we are still putting points on the board and have come through this tough period fairly unscathed.”