Cymru Alliance weekend previews

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

Andy Thomas has challenged title-chasing Airbus to ‘kick on’ after they ended their recent winless streak.

The Wingmakers edged to a last-minute 4-3 win over Holyhead to record a first victory in five games.

Assistant manager Thomas blamed injuries to key players for the slump in form, but is positive their return will herald an upturn in results.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash at basement side Llandudno Junction, he said: “We’re slowly getting bodies back in and I think we saw the effects of that at times at Holyhead.

“Getting ourselves back to full strength has come at a good time for us with so many fixtures coming up.

“Whatever people say, no team in this league could have coped with the injuries we’ve had this season.

“If you look at our results before we lost these players, we were going really well and showing the type of form that we need to win the league.

“The Holyhead result was a big three points for us and we want to kick on in the games ahead now.”

Promoted from the Welsh Alliance last term, Llandudno  have struggled badly in the second tier with just two points from their 13 games to date.

But Thomas is taking nothing for granted from Saturday’s game, suggesting the Seasiders will adopt a defensive system.

“We’re used to it now,” he added.

“We’re a big scalp to most teams in this league and most teams treat games against us as cup finals.

“Every club raises their game against us, but that’s something we have to deal with.

“Llandudno will be no different and will try to make life as difficult as possible for us and it’s up to us to overcome that.”

Midfielder Ryan Edwards should feature for Airbus after netting twice last week, while Alfons Fosu-Mensah and John Davies could also start.

Holywell Town boss John Haseldin expects the ‘game of the day’ when high-flying Denbigh Town visit Halkyn Road.

Both teams have excelled this term with Eddie Maurice-Jones’ Denbigh side second in the table and pursuing a fifth successive league win.

The Wellmen trail Saturday’s opponents by four points but are in solid form after hammering Holyhead Hotspur 4-0 last time out.

With his own side’s clash at Penrhyncoch claimed by the snow last weekend, Haseldin was a spectator at Belle Vue as Denbigh inflicted a 5-3 reverse on Rhyl.

He said: “Denbigh are a strong side and showed some of the quality they have in their line-up.

“I don’t like to make predictions on how games might play out, but I know Eddie well from our time in the third tier together at Gresford.

“He’s got them playing some good stuff and they’ve done brilliantly to get up to second place this season.

“They were decent going forward at Rhyl but they shipped three goals there too, so there are weaknesses there for us to exploit.

“If the ground staff are able to get our pitch playable, it should be the game of the day.

“We have quality players too and I just hope that there are no cobwebs from the cancelled game last weekend

“We know we’ll have to be ready and fully focused from the start to come out of the game with  a win.”

The Wellmen were buoyed by Paul Williams’ decision to remain at the club this week despite interest from Airbus, while fellow midfielder Brady McGilloway returns to the squad.

Danny Desormeaux and Gareth Sudlow miss out with injury and suspension respectively.

The Wellmen have been boosted by the recent signing of Marc Gunther, who arrives from Flint Mountain to replace Stuart Hayes.

Striker Hayes has headed to Mold Alex, while attacker Jamie McDaid has also left Halkyn Road.

McDaid tweeted: “All the best @HolywellTownFC for the rest of the season, great bunch of lads. Enjoyed my time, great manager.”

Boss Haseldin thanked McDaid for his efforts, responding: “Best of luck to you Jay, thanks for your efforts and commitment, scored some important goals for us over the last 12 months.”

Queen’s Park have endured a disjointed campaign to date after playing just two competitive matches in two months.

Boss Martin Ford insists his players are ‘raring to go’ against Caersws following their enforced three-week fixture break.

Both sides have struggled for form this season, but a Park victory would put them level on points with their 13th-placed Powys rivals.

Ford said: “It’s been really frustrating to have not played for so long. We’ve just been focused on keeping the lads match fit in training.

“We've had so many postponements and weekends without games that it has felt really stop-start and it’s not been easy for the lads at all.

“But Caersws is a massive game for us and all of the new lads who’ve come in over the last few weeks are all desperate to be involved.

“There’s a really positive mood here right now and I know the players are desperate to get back out on the pitch.”

Steve Halliwell is concerned that further bad weather postponements could disrupt Gresford Athletic’s positive momentum.

Snow and ice forced the cancellation of last weekend’s home clash with Guilsfield as Athletic sought a fifth successive victory.

With his side looking to push further up the table and set to host Porthmadog, Halliwell is keen for a swift return to action.

He said: “It was a blow for us to have to postpone last week but we had no choice really.

“Our pitch has been touch and go even before the snow got here so more bad weather this week has left the pitch really boggy.

“The ground staff work really hard to get the pitch playable but when it’s so soft underfoot there’s only so much they can do.

“We haven’t been able to train as normal so it does feel like we’ve lost a bit of momentum to be honest.

“What we don’t want is to accumulate a backlog of fixtures and we’re just hopeful we can get the Porthmadog game on now.”

The Gwynedd side ran out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture on the opening day when Athletic ended the game with nine men.

And an aggrieved Halliwell has challenged his side to atone with three points at Clappers Lane.

He said: “The red card decisions in that game were really poor and based on our performance we really should have taken at least a point from it.

“It was a tough result to take and if we can get the game on I know we can turn them over at home.”

Full-back Ben Burrows misses the game through illness in an otherwise fully-fit Athletic squad.

Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders Caernarfon are at home to Penrhyncoch, Rhyl visit Guilsfield while Ruthin welcome Holyhead.

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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