It’s back to Evo-Stik Premier Division action today as we travel to Leicestershire to take on Barwell, which is the first of three long trips that we have to undertake in eight days.
Barwell are a physical, competitive, very workmanlike, high-energy team, similar in many ways to Coalville, who we played a couple of weeks ago… this will be a difficult assignment.
The manager, Jimmy Ginnelly, has been there a number of years and he has built a strong stable team, with a low turnover of players. They know how to use the pitch at the Kirkby Road Sports Ground to their advantage and have made a good start to the season, gaining 11 points from seven games, which puts them in eighth place, four points behind the leaders, Shaw Lane.
They are the joint-leading goal scorers in the division, having thumped Sutton Coldfield 6-0 on Tuesday night – that was their second trip there in four days as they beat the Birmingham side 2-0 in the Emirates FA Cup on the artificial surface at Coles Lane last Saturday, earning them a draw at National League North AFC Telford United next Saturday.
Kyle Perry has just joined the Canaries from Stafford Rangers… we all know what he is all about and he scored a terrific free kick on Tuesday night to get his goal tally for his new club up and running.
I was pleased to make FA Cup progress on Tuesday night against a very spirited Abbey Hey side. We really were quite shambolic in losing a three-goal lead in the first game last Saturday, but we went about our job very well in the replay, playing at a high tempo from the off and if it hadn’t been for a wonderful display by their young goalkeeper, we could easily have had five or six.
Watch the action from the win against Abbey Hey:
On the injury front, John Disney had his ankle scan yesterday, so we are awaiting the results of that. Laurence Taylor and Simon Richman will both be missing today, they also have ankle injuries, so with a depleted group, Joel Bembo-Leta comes in to the squad for his first game. Joel played in the pre-season games against Stockport and Winsford, before joining Shaw Lane… he will be a very useful acquisition for us, having done well at Buxton last season.
Josh Amis (recovering from appendicitis) could possibly be involved today. He has trained well this week and we will have a look at him before the game, before making a decision.
We are unbeaten in five league and FA Cup games and need a good haul of points from today’s trip and Tuesday night’s away game at Workington, to keep us in touch with the top end of the table… we are currently five points behind the leaders, Shaw Lane, with a game in hand.
Pictures: Michael Ripley