Cymru Alliance Match Previews

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

Andy Thomas insists that defensive lapses are costing Airbus valuable points and has called for improvement at home to Queen’s Park on Saturday.

The Wingmakers were beaten 4-2 at Gresford last time out, a fourth loss in six league games for the early season title-favourites.

The Flintshire side shipped 24 times in that sequence and currently sit fourth in the table, seven points adrift of leaders Caernarfon Town.

Struggling Queen’s Park inflicted a shock 4-0 defeat earlier in the season and assistant manager Thomas says that conceding ‘daft goals’ has to stop.

He said: “It’s happened a lot this season. Us dominating games and creating nearly all of the attacking opportunities but then losing concentration in defence and letting some daft goals in.

“The first half of the season in this division has been a learning curve for us. We’re scoring plenty of goals but we’ve switched off at important times and have dropped a lot of points from winning positions.

“We can see there are improvements we have to make in certain areas, but we just want to end the year with a win now.

“We got beat heavily by them earlier in the year but on our pitch this should be a much different game and we are focused only on picking up three points.”

Since beating Airbus back in August, Park have failed to register another league victory in a difficult maiden year in the Alliance.

But manager Martin Ford has remained buoyant throughout and  is adamant his side will approach the game ‘without fear’.

Even the disappointment of a 4-1 home reverse against Rhyl on Boxing Day failed to dampen Ford’s spirits and he has urged his side to target the hosts fragile defence.

He said: “Airbus is another big game for us and our lads are probably hurting a bit after the Rhyl result.

“It was much closer than the 4-1 scoreline suggests really and I felt we gave a really good account of ourselves.

“In terms of chances there wasn’t much to separate us, it was just that Rhyl were more clinical than us on the day

“But we know what we’re capable of beating teams in this league and we’ll go to Airbus confident of getting something.

“Some of their defending recently has been all over the shop and I’ve seen enough of them to know how they’ll play.

“If we go there and work harder than they do I’m positive we can get a result.”

Park welcome back Jordon Cartwright for the game but will be without Edgar Lima following the defender’s dismissal last weekend.

John Haseldin wants his Holywell Town side to end the year on a high with a victory at Rhyl on Saturday

Fresh from their convincing 3-0 derby win at Flint on Boxing Day, the Wellmen are now third after three successive league victories.

But Haseldin has instructed his side not to revel too much in their derby success.

He said: “We don’t want there to be any hangover from the Flint game this weekend.

“The bragging rights and everything else are great and it’s been good to celebrate a win that our performance deserved, but it’s only another three points at the end of the day.

“The games come thick and fast in this period so we have to put it behind us. What it does do is give the the lads a massive boost in confidence and some belief that they can keep this good run going.

“We know that going to Rhyl and picking up three points isn’t going to be easy and we’ll have to be disciplined and focused to get a result.

“They look galvanised under Mark Connolly who’s got them playing again since becoming player-manager. They’re on a high themselves after putting four past Queen’s Park and they’ll be looking to turn us over, so it’ll be a really big test.”

Town have no fresh injury concerns and will be buoyed by Gareth Sudlow’s return after the defender completed his four-match ban.

Flint boss Niall McGuinness has urged his side to move on quickly from their derby defeat as they head to Ruthin Town tomorrow.

The Silkmen are yet to win a league game since McGuinness was appointed in late November and the 26-year-old manager accepts that his men face another tough challenge against a Ruthin side that swept aside second-placed Denbigh on Boxing Day.

He said: “Gutted was an understatement after the Flint game. But we need to put that disappointment out of our heads quickly and put all of our focus into Saturday.

“When I was at Rhyl earlier in the season we were beaten at home by Ruthin and you could see then they’re a very hard-working team.

“So this is going to be another really difficult fixture and we might make a couple of changes to adapt our style a bit.

“One positive result could help us turn this poor run around and we want that to start this weekend.”

Flint are hoping new centre back Jacob Lever could be in contention if international clearance goes through.

Leaders Caernarfon Town visit Holyhead Hotspur, Penrhyncoch host Guilsfield while basement side Llandudno Junction head to Porthmadog.

 

 

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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