Wolves legend to plot Town's downfall

STEVE Bull and Dave McNiven, freescoring strikers from different generations, are plotting to blunt Fleetwood Town's improvement in the Blue Square North tomorrow.

Wolves legend Bull is manager of Stafford Rangers, where 10-goal former St Annes lad McNiven confronts the club he came close to joining on loan five weeks ago.

It's Fleetwood's first visit for 33 years to Stafford, where 30-year-old McNiven is a key figure in Bull's plans to guide Wolves' neighbours straight back to the Blue Square Premier.

The former England international took over towards the end of last season with the club destined for the drop while tomorrow's opponents were heading up from the Unibond League.

Bull, who has an MBE, was ready to let Fleetwood have McNiven for a month soon after Micky Mellon became manager until injuries forced a change of heart at the last minute.

Lytham-based McNiven, who joined Rangers at the start of last season after nine goals in nine games on loan from Morecambe, has been a virtual ever-present for Fleetwood's eighth-placed hosts.

Altogether, the former Lytham St Annes YMCA starlet, a student at Edge Hill College in Ormskirk, has scored 27 times in 59 games.

Mellon is making sure Tuesday's FA Cup first round replay with Leiston at Highbury Avenue stays firmly on the backburner.

"I don't want to talk about the Cup until we've got through tomorrow, which is a massive game," said Mellon.

"The league is our bread and butter and we have to make sure we treat the game properly and give a good account of ourselves.

"The Blue Square North is a tight league, in which anybody can beat anybody on a given day. We need to stay consistent and dig out results."

Although Fleetwood have won three of the four Blue Square matches under Mellon, they're only two places outside the three-team relegation zone.

Centre half Georges Santos returns to the squad after being cuptied for last Saturday's goalless draw at Leiston.

Striker Andy Bell should be all right after a stomach upset but winger Mark Peers is no nearer to resuming after ankle ligament damage.