Town boss Billy Heath has called on his players to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat against Fylde on Good Friday by beating Harrogate Town on Monday (3pm).
Town’s defeat at The Shay to the league leaders ended their hopes of winning the National League North title, leaving them to focus solely on securing a play-off place.
“I’ve said to the players ‘don’t be down’ because they performed well enough to deserve something against Fylde,” Heath said. “Anybody who was at the game could see that.
“We lost the game and we need to bounce back and get a win straight away.
“The lads put a great performance in on Friday, we were all disappointed because it was a big opportunity for all sorts of reasons. But sometimes you don’t get what you deserve and I feel that was the case on Friday. That’s football, you dust yourself down and hopefully we can get the three points on Monday.”
Cliff Moyo went off injured against Fylde with a hamstring injury and is a doubt for the trip to Harrogate, while Josh Wilde sustained heavy bruising and a cut on his shin, but Heath was optimistic he could recover in time.
Asked whether it was a good thing to have another game so quickly after the defeat to Fylde, Heath said: “”Probably not with all the injuries. I’d probably have liked to go right until Saturday to see who we could get on the field, but that’s the way it is.”
The gap to sixth place is now just three points, while second placed Kidderminster extended their cushion on The Shaymen to four points by beating Boston on Friday.
If Kidderminster win and Halifax don’t on Monday, second place could be out of their reach.
And, if Darlington, Salford and Chorley all win and Halifax lose, The Shaymen could find themselves out of the top-five with two games to go.
However, if Halifax win and Salford, Stockport and Brackley all lose, Town would need just one more point from their remaining two matches to guarantee a play-off spot.
Harrogate go into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat at Nuneaton - their third defeat in four games - which leaves them in 11th place.
They can finish no higher than eighth in the table even if they win all their remaining games.
They beat Halifax 1-0 in the reverse fixture in the league but Halifax won 2-0 at Harrogate in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round in October.
Monday’s National League North fixtures:
AFC Fylde v Bradford Park Avenue
AFC Telford United v Nuneaton Town
Altrincham v Kidderminster Harriers
Boston United v Gloucester City
Brackley Town v Gainsborough Trinity
Darlington v FC United of Manchester
Harrogate Town v FC Halifax Town
Salford City v Curzon Ashton
Stalybridge Celtic v Chorley
Tamworth v Alfreton Town
Worcester City v Stockport County