We all know that it has been a terrible season but there was always the hope that we could pull something from the dregs after those three wins in a row just after Christmas and then again in March with the away win at Lincoln giving the fans fresh hope but it was never going to happen was it? Now the clock starts ticking more loudly.
Last Monday at home to Tranmere we learnt that there had been a virus going round and that had left us without the services of Ben Whitfield and Gurjit Singh with Lewis Kinsella playing on even though he was under the weather. That meant a change to the line-up and formation of the team and it showed as they looked an absolute shambles at a time when confidence was needed most. Add in the loss of Arthur Gnahoua and we lacked any semblance of being an attacking force whatsoever with defender Kelvin Langmead playing as a lone striker without pace or shooting ability.
The only thing it showed was Colin Gordons lack of managerial experience in even attempting such a move considering the position we are in. Tomorrow we should have all of those players back, including Zaine Francis-Angol following his stint with Antigua, with the only doubt being Gnahoua who will face an assessment before the game.
Like us, Altrincham have been struggling at the bottom of the table most of the season and in recent weeks have changed their manager in an effort to get out of the same mess that we are in. Neil Tolson is now the new guy in charge there, as caretaker manager, and the feeling is that they are looking better as a team but without the all important results.
They drew at home to Southport on Monday after losing at Halifax in a relegation six pointer on the Saturday. That came after a 4-0 home win against Aldershot the previous Saturday that had given them the kind of hope we had following the Lincoln game. Hope is a hopeless feeling at times like this.
They have little in the way of short term injuries in the squad with checks on the availability of defenders Marcus Holness and Sam Heathcote before the game. They also have ex Harrier Tom Marshall still out with a season long injury after he broke his leg. It looks doubtful if he will play for them again.
They also have Josh O'Keefe playing for them and he looks to have settled down there after his nightmare time with the Harriers.
On paper we should win this important game, a game worth the proverbial six points, but if we do what difference would it make. A win would be nice if only for the feel good factor but that feeling would only be temporary.
Snedker, Brown, O'Leary, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Langmead, T Williams, Fané, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Jones, Gnahoua, Whitfield, McQuilkin, Maxwell, N'Gwatala, Kinsella, Singh, Taylor, Patrick, Garnett.
Coburn, Deasy, C Williams, Densmore, Griffin, Moult, Havern, Leather, Lawrie, Richman, Rankine, Reeves, Clee, Heathcote, O'Keefe, Ginnelly, Westall, Crowther, Sinnott, Swift, Cain, Davis, Stoupis, Phillips, Holness.
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