Brighouse Town host Radcliffe Borough tomorrow (3.0) with their confidence starting to soar after two wins and a draw against much-higher placed opposition in their last three matches.
Manager Vill Powell, who jumped into the air when Ivan Heeley scored to complete a 2-0 win at Trafford last weekend, is not greatly surprised by Town’s rapid improvement.
He said: “Although Saturday’s result against Trafford may have surprised many, I’ve always maintained that this group of players has the ability to be competitive and beat the majority of teams in this league when we are on our game.
“Recent performances have shown that but we cannot become complacent in any aspect of our performance. Week by week we are learning about each other and brick by brick we are building something positive.”
Brighouse are 16th in the table after their win at Trafford.
Powell was delighted with the way Aiden Kirby and Waide Fairhurst had plugged gaps left by suspensions and by Thomas Haigh’s man-of-the-match performance on his 100th appearance.
“Tom’s attitude to the game and work rate has propelled him from someone who I had a slight doubt about in pre-season to a main man for Brighouse this season.”
Powell said the 21-year-old hadn’t hesitated in signing a contract, despite suitors elsewhere, and he had the ability and attitude to become a legend at the club.
There will be a presentation to Haigh before the game at the weekend.
The boss explained why Ferdinand Annor had been left out last Saturday, despite his decent form.
“I wanted as many attacking options on the bench as possible and Lewis Riley is currently keeping him out based on his form. Grimmy (Daniel Grimshaw) can play in the back three, and his versatility got him the nod ahead of Ferdy.”
Powell is grateful to Ride in Brighouse at the Rokt Climbing Centre for allowing the players to do some spinning to maintain fitness while the weather has been bad.
Brighouse have a couple of injury doubts for Saturday, Adam Jones (hip) and Tom Haigh (knee). They were being assessed at training on Thursday night.
Strikers Aaron Martin and Gabby Johnson are available again and Powell said that if Jones and Haigh were passed fit he would have a full squad to choose from for the first time this season.
“After the performance of the players on Saturday, particularly the front two, I have my first genuine selection headache at the weekend,” he said.
Radcliffe Borough, formed in 1949, have league permission to become just Radcliffe FC from next season.
They are currently second from bottom with 20 points from 24 games, three less than Town have played.
Town came back from 2-0 down at Stainton Park on November 11 to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Haigh (2) and Rhys Jenkinson, who was making his debut.
Tomorrow’s match at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium is being sponsored by Rastrick Cricket Club, a first for the Huddersfield League club.