Whitby Town’s players have enjoyed a matchless midweek with no midweek fixture ahead of this Saturday’s (Sat 18) long trip to Rushall Olympic.
“I think the lads need a rest really, it shows how much we’re down to the bare bones with me filling in at right-back,” joked Liam Shepherd, who normally plays left wing.
The Blues, who could go sixth with a win tomorrow, are likely to be without centre-halves Kev Burgess and Richard Pell, who are carrying heel and hamstring injuries, with striker Craig Farrell also awaiting an MRI scan on a hip problem.
“Pelly’s been playing with knocks for the last three or four games and we can’t be rushing Kev back, so I am preparing myself to play right-back again.” Shepherd admitted.
Speaking after the draw against Trafford, the ex-York City star was upbeat following Town’s second half display.
“If we can do this again at Rushall for 90 minutes, we’ll be okay,” he said.
“If we can get all our players back fit, we’ll be strong enough to be up there around January-Christmas time. That’s when the league starts to take shape.
“We’re a bit disappointed that we’ve lost and drawn the last few.”
Rushall are fourth despite a 2-1 defeat at Marine on Tuesday night, following back-to-back victories. Former West Brom defender Richard Sneekes took the reins at Dales Lane over the summer, reportedly improved the style of play, with Rushall much maligned for being overly-physical and direct in the past.
The Pics have lost just once at home this term, back in August to newly-promoted Ramsbottom United. Both games with Whitby were 0-0 draws last season as the Blues have yet to win away to the Walsall outfit in three attempts.
Despite the lack of midweek action, player-boss Darren Williams has been a busy man as he looks to bolster his squad, particularly their attacking options.
Williams missed out on 17-goal Northern Counties East Premier top scorer Josh Greening this week. Greening, whose brother ex-Premiership midfielder Jonathan, is also at leaders Tadcaster Albion, signed a new deal after Saturday’s 2-1 league win over Pickering Town.
“They call it part-time football, but that’s rubbish”, Williams complained.
“I’ve been on the phone all week and Scotty’s [physio Paul Scott] been busy working on the lads.”
“We will look at games and see what’s available, we had a couple of players watched, so something could develop this week.”
“It’s quite difficult to deal with as we haven’t really got the opportunity to adapt in games, having to do that within the 11-12 players we have fit.”
A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground at 8.30am with places still just £10 each.
Town are back on the road next Tuesday (Oct 21) for a first-ever trip to Ramsbottom United.
The Lancashire side were promoted through the First Division North play-offs last season, after seeing off Darlington and Bamber Bridge on the way.
The Blues will be hoping to continue a 100% record against the Rams and complete a first double of the season, after defeating them 2-0 at the Turnbull Ground last month.
Top scorer Dave McTiernan (pictured above) and defender Richard Pell were on target that day.
The Seasiders defeated Ramsbottom 5-2 in the FA Cup second qualifying round, back in 2001.
Lee Ure and Richard Dunning netted twice, alongside Graham Rennison’s goal as Town made it through to the First Round proper, eventually tumbling out 3-2 at Plymouth Argyle in a midweek replay.
A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull Ground at 2.30pm, bound for the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, with seats just £10.
There is a dominoes drive in the Whitby Town club house on Friday night at 8pm and a jumble sale at Whitby Town FC on Sunday from 2-5.30pm in aid of Will’s Fund.