Brighouse Town eye away day boosts

AFTER the disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup, Brighouse Town return to league action this Saturday at Radcliffe Borough.

They then hit the road again on Tuesday night when they visit Cheshire to face Witton Albion (7.45pm).

Having got off to a good start in Evo-Stik Division One North – a 2-1 defeat at home to Ossett Town being their only setback in seven games – Town currently sit sixth in the table, while Radcliffe are 17th and Witton ninth.

Last Saturday at the Stainton Park Stadium, Danny Johnson’s side beat Ossett Town 4-0, while Witton defeated Farsley Celtic 2-1 at Wincham Park in the first qualfying round of the FA Cup. They have since drawn the plum away tie with FC United of Manchester.

The win over Ossett Town made it two victories in seven league games for the Greater Manchester side.

Witton have three wins and a draw from seven games and will most likely provide the sterner test.

Town, who were training Tuesday and Thursday this week, have injury problems for both games.

Centre-half Sam Hewitt, who damaged an ankle against New Mills is rated only 50-50, while Tom Haigh injured an ankle in the first half against Newton Aycliffe and is rated doubtful by manager Paul Quinn.

Skipper Leon Henry is struggling with a hamstring and again rated doubtful with his manager feeling he needs to rest it. Both James Pollard (knee) and Will Tolley (ankle) are also struggling.

Quinn expects striker Daniel Facey back after he was attending a funeral in London and midfielder James Hurley is available for selection again.

Against Newton Aycliffe, Quinn gave a place on the bench to new signing from Huddersfield Town, Sheidan Rodgers, a wide attacking player, and he could figure after playing Monday evening in the development team along with an unnamed triallist from Frickley Athletic.

On top of Tom Robinson and Connah Judson playing out on dual-registration at NCEL Premier Division outfit Nostell Miners Welfare, big striker Craig Billington and nippy winger Ash Scully have also been involved in taking the perennial strugglers up into mid-table.

Quinn added: “It is good experience for them as it is a tough league and they will be all the better for having first team game time with them.”

On the his club’s exit from the cup which has given Newton the home tie with North Ferriby United, the manager said it was “just one of those games.”

“I thought the performance from all three match officials did not help our cause as the opposition pushed the boundaries on rules and if you look at other aspects nothing went right for us.

“They didn’t really get into the game until the 25th minute by which time we could, with some luck, have been at least two goals to the good – Tom Haigh’s effort and then Ernest Boafo’s one-on-one.

“After that, they grew in confidence, but I was still disappointed how we let them score their goals.

“In the second half we really controlled the game but nothing went for us and perhaps it was meant to be.

“We now have to kick on in the league which has started so well for us. I’m happy with the strength of the squad and with some players we just need to see a little more consistency and then we can be a real force in this division.”