Big crowd expected as Groundhoppers visit St Giles Road

BRIGHOUSE Town boss Paul Quinn will be looking for his players to put on a show at home to Barton Town Old Boys tonight as the club prepare to welcome around 400 extra fans who are embarking on an annual non-League Groundhopping weekend.

The weekend, which has been organised with assistance from the Northern Counties East League, will see football supporters take in matches at Yorkshire Amateur, Eccleshill United, Thackley, Liversedge, and Brighouse Town today before travelling to Maltby Main, Staveley Miners Welfare, Hallam, and Worsborough Bridge Athletic tomorrow with kick-off times altered accordingly.

Not only does it give the fans the chance to see a number of different teams but it also provides a welcome financial boost to the clubs with extra people through the turnstiles and increased refreshments sales.

“These weekends are a brilliant idea if you’re a football fan and they are a great way of raising the profile of the clubs,” said Quinn.

“I believe there are around 200 booked on coaches and they are expecting another 150 to walk in so it is a very big deal for everybody concerned.

“We obviously want to put on a good show because it could mean that some people will want to come back and support us on a regular basis.”

Brighouse have another reason why they want to impress - the small matter of a 5-0 defeat at Barton back in October.

That result, Quinn believes, proved a pivotal point of the season from which the club have steadily built from.

“We owe Barton one because we went over there and got badly turned over,” added Quinn.

“I believe that was a turning point for us because we learned a little bit more about certain players. It was at that stage when we started to ship a few out and bring others in.

“It was also a good test of character and something we have learned from. There are five games to go and all of them are important to us now.

“We showed we could bounce back after that Barton game and we have to go into these games with the same attitude.”

Quinn will make a late decision on whether to include striker Luke Gibson in his squad for tonight’s game. If he does play then he will certainly miss Easter Monday’s game at Hall Road Rangers as he continues to battle a troublesome hamstring problem.

“Luke is 50/50 for Barton at the moment and we are going to have to manage the situation carefully,” said Quinn.

“He is still having trouble with his hamstring and that is something we are looking to address properly during the close season.

“He has proved to be a valuable player to us and want to get to the bottom of the problem so he can come back fully fit next season.”