The five points less is because that's what our punishment for financial irregularities was from the Conference board meeting held in Birmingham yesterday. That has dropped us down to ninth place in the table from sixth but it's a gap that could easily be made up with a win at Gateshead.
We'll be without Mark Albrighton for the game following his red card at Tamworth. He's been given a two game ban for that and will also miss Kettering at home on Tuesday evening.
Steve Burr will be hoping that Tom Sharpe has recovered from the flu so that he could take Albrightons' place but if not then we're going to be a bit short of staff at the back following Oliver Thornes' month long loan to Rushden yesterday. Some will say that it's a mistake letting Thorne go because Lee Vaughan also has a touch of flu and could miss the game. I agree.
We still have a couple of injuries to deal with too. Lee Morris and Jamille Matt will both be out with hamstring problems so Chris McPhee and Nick Wright will continue their partnership up front.
Gateshead have been busy now that the January sales are back on. Today they've bought in two youngsters from Newcastle Utd in the shape of James Tavernier and Joan Simun Edmundsson. Both aged 19, Edmundsson is a central defender while Tavernier is a right-back. Both will go straight into the squad that faces us as will Sunderland loanee Michael Liddle after he joined the club yesterday.
They will be without the injured Paul Heckinbottom and also the former Harriers loanee Craig Nelthorpe following his sending off at his old club York City last week. Jonny Allan, who signed for Gateshead from Altrincham during the summer, has yet to start a game and will not be included after struggling with a calf problem this week.
Midfielder Kris Gate is expected to shrug off a foot injury that saw him substituted in the 5-1 drubbing at Southport on Monday but should be fit for the gme against the Harriers. They'll also be wanting to get that game out of their system and to grab all three points against us. With our side down to the bare bones we could be seeing a much changed look again but I feel that we have the quality, but not the numbers, to get at least a point there.
That would help wipe out some of those five points then.
Lewis, Stevens, Vaughan, Mike Williams, Sharpe, Griffiths, Byrne, T Shaw, Briscoe, McPhee, Briggs, Hankin, Wright, Blair, Gittings, Hadley.
Deasy, Farman, Porter, Baxter, Edmundsson, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Brittain, Turnbull, J Shaw, Tavernier, Ferrell, Winn, Jones, Baptist, Wake, Fisher, Mulligan, Marwood, Gillies, Brown, White, Liddle.
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