Hednesford Town travel to Lincolnshire looking to avenge their recent 3-1 defeat against Gainsborough Trinity and cement their place in the top five as the play-off race in the Skrill North enters its final six matches.
The Trinity won convincingly against The Pitmen at Keys Park a month ago but since then, three wins and a draw have seen Rob Smith’s side take a huge step towards qualifying for the play-offs.
The manager stated that he is happy with where the side stand at present and hasn’t dared to dream of a two legged semi-final with AFC Telford United, or anybody else for that matter, stressing that it is simply about reaching the end of season shake up first and foremost.
‘I don’t care who we get, the aim is to get there. With twelve games out we set ourselves a target and we are right on course with five to go, the players know what is needed but we have some very tough games so it will be hard. Gainsborough beat us comfortably at our place so if we get a point, we get a point and move on but as always we will be looking for all three.’
The news that Jamey Osborne dislocated a shoulder in the midweek 2-2 draw with Brackley and will miss the rest of the season is a major blow for The Pitmen, but the encouraging start made by winger Marvin Johnson, on loan from Kidderminster, has softened the impact somewhat according to Smith.
‘You can see what Marv is all about, he produces flashes of brilliance and has pace to burn, he needs to try and bring consistency into his game, but he has given us a big boost since he came here.’
The Hednesford midfield may have to deal with another casualty on Saturday as Tom Thorley is rated very doubtful but, Osborne apart, the same squad as Tuesday will travel to The Northolme with only Johnson and Darren Campion facing fitness tests.
With Osborne missing, Kris Taylor still unavailable and Elliott Durrell now long gone, yet again the immense character of Smith’s players will be called upon in the final weeks of the season.
If a Hednesford fan was to rely on anything though, the spirit of a team who, against the odds, stand on the brink of another shot at play-off glory is certainly the one thing most would choose.
Gainsborough Trinity Form – LDLLDL
Previous Result – Oxford City 1 Gainsborough Trinity 0 – The Skrill North – Thursday 3rd April 2014
Next Fixture – Guiseley (A) – The Skrill North – Tuesday 8th April 2014
League Position – 17th
Hednesford Town Form – WLWWWD
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 2 Brackley Town 2 – The Skrill North – Tuesday 1st April 2014
Next Fixture – Guiseley (H) – The Skrill North – Saturday 12th April 2014
League Position – 4th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – The Northolme, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2QW.