The Pitmen make the long journey up the M6 tomorrow to rock-bottom Burscough as they look to recover from Saturday’s dissappointing 2-0 defeat to promotion rivals Northwich Victoria.
Rob Smith’s side came within two superb saves by the Northwich goalkeeper of salvaging a point at Keys Park but conceded a late penalty to stay on sixty-one points. Results did go their way elsewhere however as Bradford and Marine both surprisingly lost with only FC United picking up maximum points.
On paper it would seem that there is no easier fixture to kick-start a recovery than against a team who have lost their last three matches, won only one game at home all season and conceded a whopping eighty goals in the process.
It would, of course, be folly to suggest The Pitmen will take their Lancashire hosts lightly as their own form reads only one win in the last six matches.
The Pitmen team news is another reason for caution as Gary Hay is unable to travel due to work commitments and an agreement with Burscough when Mark Beesley signed that the striker would not be selected against his former club, means Rob Smith has only two strikers to choose from.
The manager, keen to see his side return to their outstanding pre-Christmas form, stressed in no uncertain terms that his squad will not take Burscough lightly, nor will they be looking ahead to Saturday’s crunch match with FC United.
‘No way will this game be straight forward, with players missing as well this will be as tough an assignment as it gets. We have both eyes on Burscough and nothing else, if we don’t do the job tomorrow thinking about the FC United game is pointless.’
Fellow promotion chasers Bradford host Buxton on Monday night so The Pitmen could lie fourth on goal difference as they run out at Victoria Park but a win could see them draw level on points with Northwich again, albeit having played a game more.
The importance of a psychological and morale boosting victory cannot be under estimated at this stage of the season.
Pitmen Form – LLDDWL
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 0 Northwich Victoria 2 – Sat 10th March
Next Fixture – FC United of Manchester (H) Sat 17th March 3.00pm KO
League Position – 3rd
Burscough Form – LDDLLL
Previous Result – Burscough 0 Whitby Town 1 – Sat 10th March
Next Fixture – Worksop Town (A) Sat 17th March
League Position – 22nd
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – Victoria Park, Bobby Langton Way,Burscough, Lancashire, L40 0SD
Travel Club Supporters Coach Departure Time – 4.30pm