Since the Boxing Day fiasco that saw the Worcester City v Hednesford game abandoned ten minutes from the end, due to the waterlogged conditions, there have been three games played by us and all lost while City have played there once and lost theirs against Bradford PA too. Our defeats came against Southport, FGR and then last Saturday we exited the FA Trophy to Altrincham. The Macclesfield manager, John Askey, was at the game and will have seen for himself how poor the pitch was and also how we struggle to cope with it.
We'll be hoping that with no game being played on there since Sunday that the pitch will have recovered a bit but we'll also be looking for a bit more luck in front of goal too. Craig Reid missed a penalty against Alty at a time when an equaliser just before halftime would have done the team a world of good after going down to a Damien Reeves goal twenty minutes in. He had capitalised on a mistake by the on loan Nathaniel Kelly and punished him mercilessly.
The lad is only nineteen though and it was his first ever game at any real level. He only played because our regular defender Josh Gowling is out injured long term and his replacement, Jordan Tunnicliffe, was cup tied. I expect Kelly to sit this game out for Tunnicliffe to regain his place.
We could also see a change up front at some stage of the game with the news that Reece Styche has gone out on loan to Tamworth for the second time this season and probably won't be coming back after being a target of idiots barracking him in the Forest Green game. He had a better game last Saturday but the die was set by then and it looks like a mutual decision between Styche and Gary Whild for him to move on out of the club gradually. These were the same idiots that booed Lee Hughes on his return to Aggborough only thinking that his history only went as far back as a rainy night in Meriden and never realised that he was one of the most important players to ever pull on a red Harriers shirt.
With Styche no longer with us we'll have to rely on the goals scored by Reid and his new partners, Akwase Asante or Jamie Spencer. The fact that Reid has only scored five times this season and the other two have yet to get on the scoresheet is very worrying. To that end Whild is rumoured to be bringing in a proven Conference standard goalscorer but I'm not holding my breath hoping for the kind of player the fans would be hoping for.
Marvin Johnson got injured in the Trophy game and left the field with a hip injury but that is said to have now cleared up and he could be risked tomorrow although it might be better to give him a little longer. As seen by Aman Vermas injury recently it doesn't pay to bring an injured player back too soon. Verma, btw, should now be ok for tomorrow and we should have no other injuries.
Macclesfield have been going surprisingly well considering they are having the same kind of money troubles as we are. When we played them at Moss Rose back in the Summer they didn't look too brilliant but have now picked their game up considerably. Askey strengthened their side yesterday with two new faces coming in. Stoke City U21 striker Tomi Adeloye has come in on loan while goalkeeper Conor O'Keefe has returned to the club he started with as youth player two years ago.
They missed out on signing central defender Luke Waterfall from Scunthorpe yesterday after he opted to join Wrexham instead. He played against us in the away game and looked very tall and useful.
Macclesfield appear to be injury free.
This is another, yes again, game that we must win if we hope to continue to keep our place near the play off places. If this drying wind that we have been having the past few days can continue a little longer then it might be game on.
D Lewis, Mayebi, Singh, Whitcombe, Hodgkiss, Green, Storer, Tunnicliffe, Nicholson, Williams, Kelly, J O'Keefe, Grimes, Maxwell, Asante, Byrne, Obeng, Digie, Johnson, Verma, Gittings, Reffell, Spencer, Reid.
Macclesfield Town from:
Taylor, Branagan, C O'Keefe, Halls, Barrow, Pilkington, Turnbull, Lavelle-Moore, P Lewis, Holroyd, Fairhurst, Moke, Cowan, Haining, Sodje, Gibson, Adeloye, Gonzalez Diaz, Rouse, Thompson, Whitaker, Disney, Hunter, Thomas, Grant, Barnes-Homer, Johnstone.
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