Like most people, I was disappointed to learn yesterday that our top of the table game at Shaw Lane on Monday had been postponed, as the BBC may be using Shaw Lane as the venue for their Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round Draw programme.
However we remain fully focused on today’s very important Evo-Stik Premier Division fixture at home to Buxton, which kicks off at 3pm at the J Davidson Stadium.
Last Saturday, I was very pleased that we made progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy, clearing the first hurdle in this competition with a 3-0 win against Clitheroe.
If Josh Hancock had converted one of his two early chances, then we may have been able to go on in the first half and score a little bit more freely, but Clitheroe competed really well and it was scoreless at the break.
In the second half, after a little bit of a pep talk, we moved the ball a lot more quickly and JJ (John Johnston) got a slightly fortunate, but well-earned, goal to put us ahead.
I was very disappointed with the referee’s decision to send Jake Moult off after he let the referee know his failings when he didn’t spot that Jake had been elbowed in the face.
I probably said worse things during the game, to the officials, than Jake said to the referee, but we now find ourselves without our captain today and for next Saturday’s FA Trophy game against Ramsbottom United.
In the wake of that disappointment, it was very pleasing that we kept control of the game after Jake’s red card and finished strongly with two late goals from Tom Peers, who came on midway through the second half and did a great job.
Neil Sorvel and I went to watch today’s opponents, Buxton on Tuesday evening in their game against Rushall Olympic and they are a side that always make things difficult for my team. Martin McIntosh prepares his teams meticulously and they are a very robust side that are very much up and at you. They have a top striker in Liam Hardy and we will need to be on our game to continue our phenomenal home record and make it nine consecutive home league wins.
There has been some player movement in the last couple of days with Sean Miller and Tolani Omotola going out on a month’s loan to Colne and Loughborough Dynamo respectively, whilst I have brought Connor Hampson in from Stockport County on a loan deal.
Connor is a very good footballer who can play left back or central midfield and I think will be ideal for what we need at this stage of the season, particularly with Simon Richman missing today’s game for accumulating five bookings and Jake Moult being suspended for two games from today.
Pictures: Michael Ripley