We have made progress in two cup competitions this week. Last Saturday, we recovered from conceding a very early goal, for the second successive game, to beat Ramsbottom United 4-1 and Monday’s Buildbase FA Trophy draw sees us on our travels to Alfreton Town from the Vanarama National League North, which will be a good test for us against a team from the league that we are trying to get into.
I was so proud of the team on Tuesday night… they put in a superb performance to progress 7-6 on penalties against Chester in the Cheshire Senior Cup. It was 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 after extra-time but the quality of the display shows the strength in depth that we have, as we used the game to give needed match minutes to a number of our players.
The hunger and desire of the players shone through… these lads just will not lie down and when you consider that we were down to 10 men for almost a hundred minutes, it’s a real testament to all the players that took part that we made progress, and we’ve now been drawn away to 1874 Northwich in January.
Watch highlights of Alty’s 4-1 Buildbase FA Trophy win over Ramsbottom United:
Having looked at Simon Richman’s red card on the video, it probably was a sending-off offence. It was a difficult one, as both players have gone in very strongly… Simon is gutted, but we will just have to accept that he will miss three games after today.
There were heroes all over the pitch on Tuesday night. Max Harrop was phenomenal, Tom Peers put in an outstanding performance throughout, Mason Walsh showed what a gifted winger he is and it was a good night for Laurence Taylor, Josh Amis and Sam Sheridan, as well as the three young lads, Darius Palma, Callum Jones and Tom Westall, who showed that there is some great talent emerging from the reserves.
Today, we travel to Sutton Coldfield, which is never an easy place to go. They are having a tough time of it, so far this season, but have strengthened in the last few days by re-signing Michael Townsend, who is a strong central defender who certainly put himself about a bit when we won at Barwell, where he was captain, in September.
Their astro-turf pitch gives them a good home advantage and whilst they are struggling at the wrong end of the league, they can beat anyone on their day… both Shaw Lane and Buxton have returned home pointless from their visit to Coles Lane. We will be looking to bring back a maximum points haul from the West Midlands to stay at the top of the table, particularly as this is our only league game in the middle of four cup games.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that there would probably be more players going out on loan and last night, we agreed a deal for Josh Amis to join Evo-Stik North side Colne, for a month, where he will team up with Sean Miller, who has already scored twice during his loan spell.
Laurence Taylor and Tom Hannigan will play for the reserves at Ashton Town today. Laurence is back pushing for a first team place again, following his bad leg injury at Abbey Hey in early September and Tom is ready for his first action in five weeks after suffering a knee injury against Halesowen in mid-October.
Pictures: Michael Ripley