Town aim for play-offs

Ernest Boafa for Brighouse.
Ernest Boafa for Brighouse.

Brighouse Town manager Paul Quinn has described the loss of the last two fixtures through postponements as frustrating as he plans for two more games in 72 hours this week.

“I appreciate there is nothing we can do considering the horrendous weather we have been getting but we had just turned the corner and got on a roll with two very well earned victories over Radcliffe Borough and Scarborough Athletic,” said Quinn.

“On the other hand we would have been without James Hurtley as he played through the Scarborough game last Tuesday with a hamstring tweak and now he should be fine for Saturday’s visit to Prescot Cables.

“It has also given Ernest Boafo’s back problem more time to heal and he should be fine for Saturday along with fellow strike-partner Danny Facey who picked up a knock on a knee against Scarborough, and that is why we brought him off after 60 minutes as a precaution.

“Saturday should also see midfielder Tom Haigh back up for selection following his hamstring tear in the game at Lancaster City on January 2 and striker Steve Hollingworth who has been out with a knee injury since scoring our goal in the 1-1 draw at Harrogate Railway back in October.

“Ideally we would have liked to have got them some game time in the development side at Harrogate Railway last Thursday but just like the first team they have also suffered from postponements.

“Central defender and vice captain Adam Wilson is also fit again from a back injury and up for Saturday’s game which, I am hoping, will go ahead despite Prescot calling Tuesday night’s game off against Spennymoor Town.

“The forecast is looking at cooler but drier conditions for later in the week and the weekend and that is what we will also need to get our pitch back in shape for next Monday night’s home game with Droylsden (7.45).

“With these postponements the games will be coming thick and fast and, despite this, providing we stay clear from anymore injuries, I feel we have a deep enough squad to cope.

“Victories from these next two games will put us right on the doorstep of the play-off positions in sixth place, but we will have to show consistency in our performances over 90 minutes.

“Kurt Harris, who has been unavailable for the past two games, is also back in the frame and we should have a really strong bench on Saturday and Monday.”

Prescot, managed by Andy Paxton, the former Burnley and Southport goalkeeper, are currently six places below Town with 27 points from their 24 games.

Town, with their pace in midfield and upfront, should appreciate the wide Hope Street pitch should it have dried out.

Monday’s visitors Droylsden are one place below Prescot in 17th place of the 22 clubs with 26 points from 25 games under their long term manager Dave Pace.

The Bloods have been showing better form in the new year with three successive 1-1 draws across January before beating third-placed Ossett Albion 2-1 at the Butchers Arms earlier this month.

Former Huddersfield Town first year professional Adam Wilson, 27, son of the club’s coach Rob, has informed the manager that he has invested in a marquee business but will be committing to Town except for extreme circumstances.

The only match to have taken place in the NPL Division One North on Tuesday saw Lancaster City in 10th place go four points ahead of Town with a 3-1 derby win over Kendal Town.

Spennymoor Town, visitors to the Dual Seal Stadium on Saturday week, February 20, have parted company with their assistant manager Anthony Smith after a bad run which has seen them drop out of the play-off positions.

Carl Beasley has stepped up from the youth team to become interim assistant manager for the rest of the season alongside manager Jason Ainsley.

The Durham club are also awaiting international clearance after signing Mark Anderson from USA club Carolina Railhawks.

Former Brighhouse Town centre back Sam Akroyd, who has left struggling Ossett Town, was a first-minute goalscorer for his new club Frickley Athletic in Tuesday night’s 5-1 home Northern Premier League Premier Division win over Buxton. The West Yorkshire Schools and Calderdale Schools finals have once more been booked for the Dual Seal, as have the Ziggy’s Halifax Sunday League finals on Sunday, April 24 and May 1. Depending on games for FC Halifax Town and Halifax RLFC at the Shay, Town may also, they understand, have to accommodate one or two Halifax League Saturday finals.