We are now at the very end of what has ultimately been a disappointing season for all Harriers fans. Possibly not just us either but also the players and to a lesser extent some of the Harriers board.
A season that promised so much following our second place finish last term was all but ruined by the shenanigans going on behind the season that led to the dismissal of our best manager since Graham Allner and the badly advised appointment of Andy Thorn by the equally incompetent Mark Serrell. That moment of stupidity ultimately lost us any real chance of a play off place, after being told that was the reason for Burr being sacked, but ironically Thorns tenure also gave us easily our best total performance of the season and our best result for ten years: The defeat of Peterborough in the FA Cup.
Now, with Gary Whild (right) left to pick up the pieces, we are slowly getting back to something like we should be but, at the end of the day, it was a day that came too soon. He has managed to bail out the bilge from a sinking ship and got the rudderless Harriers back onto an even keel with just one defeat in twelve games but far too many drawn games. Now tomorrow we play the last game of the season at promotion hopefuls Halifax who could finish in any one of the remaining three play off places.
A win or draw would see them leapfrog Grimsby into third place if they fail to beat the also hopeful Braintree. A defeat against us could let in Gateshead above them if they manage to pick up a point at home to Cambridge but if the Heed lose then that could then let in Braintree to take their place in the final five if they were to beat Grimsby by more than three goals. Complicated!
Us? we just have to do the right thing and that isn't to hand the game on a plate to Halifax. We need to reward the fans that have stuck by this club through thick, thin and Thorn.
We didn't get that last Monday against Nuneaton though. We did get one of the most inept displays for a long, long time and with everyone, including the players out on the pitch, knowing that it was three points or bust we bust. If any game was to inspire us to all three points to reach the last remaining play off place that was it even though in the end results elsewhere meant it would have all been in vain at least we could have looked back on the way home and told ourselves 'we tried'.
Michael Gash is a doubt following the possible hamstring injury he picked up on Monday and we'll also probably be without Josh Gowling for tomorrows game once more and also Danny Jackman won't be making the starting eleven for a while. We should hopefully be starting with Kyle Storer after he started the Nuneaton game on the bench but his starting could mean that the impressive Amari'i' Bell will have to go to the bench in what could be his last game for us unless Birmingham City release him and he comes to us again next season. That is very doubtful though.
There could be final appearances for quite a few other squad members too but I'm not going to forecast who it's going to be. The ones that will be going are those out on loan at other clubs including Ryan Rowe (at Brackley) Santiago Aloi (Worcester) Marvin Johnson (Hednesford) and Freddie Ladapo (Hayes). Of those I, personally, think that only Magic will be missed.
Halifax will be at almost full strength with just Ryan Toulson out injured.
As for the result of the game tomorrow I don't think we'll be slowing down the Halifax bandwagon at all and I also think they could go all the way and retake their place in the Football League that they left behind in 2002.
Photo © KHFC
Lewis, N Vaughan, L Vaughan, Grimes, Dunkley, Williams, Demetriou, Storer, O'Keefe, Byrne, Verma, Riis, Malbon, Bell, Morgan-Smith, Blissett, Cieslewicz, Wright, Gittings, Gash.
FC Halifax Town from:
Glennon, Morgan, Senior, McManus, Pearson, Lowe, A Smith, Gregory, Wilson, Roberts, Worthington, McReady, Marshall, Maynard, Ainge, C Smith, Lenighan, Crowther, Bolton, Jackson, Challinor, Gray.
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