Brighouse Town manager Paul Quinn said he was delighted with the response his players gave him on Monday afternoon in the pulsating 2-1 win over Scarborough Athletic.
“This was a great result for us after the 5-1 defeat here last time against Witton Albion,” beamed Quinn, who carried out his threat to give all the bench players against Witton a starting place against Scarborough.
“It was no classic but the lads showed great character, dug in and battled for every ball and set the foundations for the next 20 games as we aim for the play-offs, our goal this season,” he continued.
“It was a real blood and thunder game with no quarter given and I thought the referee and his assistants did well.
“I thought, given the conditions and the type of game that transpired, debutant Ben Atkinson did well.
“He is a very gifted player technically and we will see more of him as he beds himself in. Curzon Ashton have been good to let him come on loan and, as my assistant Mark Booth has been saying, it is good to form a relationship with them.
“Physio Matthew Schofield has reported we have no injuries from the game ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Giant Axe to play Lancaster City and I could well have left-back Chris Fisher in the fold.
“He was due to play some part in Monday’s game after missing with flu last week but he phoned on Christmas Day to say he wasn’t fit to play at Ossett Albion and was doubtful for the Scarborough game – something he later confirmed on the Sunday.
“There is some real competition for places now as we enter the second half of the season and commence the first of those 20 games against an improving Lancaster side.”
City won 3-2 at Prescot Cables on Monday with goals from Tom Kilifin (2) and Terry Cummings under new manager Philip Brown, who took over in November from Darren Peacock and Trevor Sinclair.
They now lie with those three points in 12th place after 21 games on 27 points, four places behind Town, who are in eighth on 34 points and just four points behind fifth-placed Burscough currently taking the final placing for the play-offs.
Brown has recently brought in two players on loan from higher placed clubs, namely Jacob Gregory, a defender from AFC Fylde, and Charlie Russell, a midfielder from Stockport County.
Town drew 2-2 at the Dual Seal Stadium with City in October when they should have won by the proverbial country mile.
Experienced striker Daniel Facey missed Monday’s game with a knee injury sustained in the Witton Albion game.
“I have come in for treatment from Matthew (Schofield) and we will have to see with regards to how I progress this week to see if I will be able to put my hand up for Lancaster,” said Facey.
His fellow strike partner Ernest Boafo, who has not scored in the league since the 1-1 draw at Ossett Town on November 14, is being well marshalled by defences who know now of his prowess in front of goal. He has scored 13 goals in league and cup action this term but Town fans say they can see the frustration surfacing in the hard working striker as the ball hasn’t also been running for him.
Town after Saturday’s match are then at home on January 9 to Droylsden with their other two home games in the month re-arranged ones with second in the table Warrington Town on Monday, January 18 and Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, January 30. The original fixture on December 12 was abandoned after half time as Storm Desmond flooded the pitch.
Town still have a game to re-arrange against Bamber Bridge who have been successful this season in the FA Cup qualifiers and are still in the FA Trophy.
There only away games after Saturday are at Clitheroe on the 18th and Burscough on the 23rd.
Brighouse Town’s committee are to apply for some of £750,000 pot that has been made available from the damage caused by Storm Desmond.
Non-League clubs across Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire Northumberland and the West Riding of Yorkshire can apply and it has been made available by the FA and Football Foundation.
Extensive damage was caused to the clubhouse roof, hospitality lounge and they had to call in the greenkeeper from the nearby Crow Nest Golf Club to verti-drain the entire pitch.