STOURBRIDGE will look to take a big step towards the top end of the Northern Premier League when they go to fourth-placed Shaw Lane this Saturday.

The Glassboys can cut the gap to the top five with three points against their managerless opponents.

Shaw Lane have started the season well but are now searching for a successor to Craig Elliott after the boss made the step into the Vanarama National League North with Boston United.

Stour manager Gary Hackett is looking forward to the contest. He said: "It is a big game but I won't read much into the fact their manager has gone. I don't think the players will leave and not much will change with them.

"They are a big-spending team that have done well so far this season but our away form is also good and we'll go there looking to get the win.

"It has been a difficult period for us but a win would put us right back in the pack.

"We have had a few new faces come in but we want to find that continuity now and push on again."

However, the Glassboys will be without influential duo Stuart Pierpoint and Aaron Forde, who are both suspended after picking up five bookings.

Winger Matt Dodd and the versatile Kennedy Digie are still rated as 50/50 to feature.

Dodd is close to overcoming an ankle injury but will be properly assessed ahead of the weekend, while Digie is back at parent club Kidderminster Harriers getting treatment on a knee injury.

It means travelling fans may see the commanding presence of defender Jack Duggan back at the heart of the Stour defence.

He has had to be patient after a return from injury but Hackett was keen to highlight his importance to the side, adding: "Jack Duggan has had a few niggles but if we can keep him fit then he's one of the very best defenders in this league."

The War Memorial Ground boss says he may have to strengthen ahead of the weekend depending on what options he has available.

Stour go into the clash on the back of last Saturday's 3-2 away win at St Neots in the FA Trophy.

Goals from Luke Benbow, Leon Broadhurst and Josh Green handed them a third qualifying round tie at Bradford Park Avenue.

Hackett said: "St Neots' recent form was good and it turned into a classic cup tie.

"Goal, dubious decisions, it had it all.

"In the end I think we just about deserved the win and we can look forward to the next round.

"We have nothing to lose at Bradford Park Avenue. It's a tough game after a long journey."