Town will be boosted by the return from suspension of striker James Dean for tonight’s Blue Square Bet North clash with high flying Hyde at the Shay (7.45).
The big frontman has missed the last three games after picking up a red card after the final whistle of the Shaymen’s dramatic comeback win at Guiseley last month.
Dean is not guaranteed an automatic return to the starting line-up with Lee Gregory doing well as a lone striker.
But with more injury trouble for boss Neil Aspin in the form of Danny Lowe, who is extremely doubtful due to the ankle he twisted at Droylsden on Saturday, the striker’s presence is a real boost.
“It will be good to have James Dean available again,” said Aspin. “He has had a rest from playing, he has been training hard and he must be keen to get back.
“We took Danny off at half time to prevent further damage. His ankle was swollen and while the swelling will go down it is still a doubt whether he will be able to play of not.
“The major concern we have had this season is not being able to play a settled team week in week out.”
Losing Lowe would mean another change in central defence and with loan man Brett Renshaw unable to play against his parent club, Aspin’s options are limited.
He could reunite Liam Hogan and Scott McManus, although the former FC United man has been impressive wide on the left.
Alternatively, Ryan Toulson could switch to the middle from right back with Aaron Hardy, who has started the last two games in midfield, replacing him.
That is likely to mean a straight fight between Liam Needham and Tyrone Thompson for a start with Thompson hoping to make his second home debut having rejoined the Shaymen on non contract terms at the end of last week.
Whoever plays, Aspin knows that his side will have to produce a performance at least equal to the one they produced at Droylsden where they were denied something from the game by a poor penalty decision.
“We are always under pressure to produce a good performance at home,” he said. “We have to produce the same level of commitment and the same workrate we showed at Droylsden.
“It has been a stop-start season for us, but we don’t have anything to fear.
“We have shown that we are capable of performing against any side in this division, but there is no margin for error.”
Hyde won their opening 10 matches of the campaign but lost top spot at the weekend when they were beaten for the first time, going down 2-0 at Guiseley.
That followed successive league draws against Eastwood and Nuneaton but Aspin is expecting a tough test for his side tonight.
“Hyde may have stuttered a bit but they are still playing a really high standard of football,” he said.
“And they will relish coming to the Shay and playing on our pitch.”
Town (from): Senior, Eastwood, Toulson, Hardy, Lowe, L Hogan, McManus, Winter, Baker, Garner, Thompson, Needham, Marwood, St Juste, Dean, Foster, S Hogan, Holland.
The bucket collection at tonight’s game is for the Mayor’s charity, Project Challenge
Town’s home game with Solihull Moors, postponed due to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup, has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 15 (7.45).