Dom discusses talking points ahead of the big NL game
ALTRINCHAM FC (A)
Back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday, I was always concerned we’d get beaten by Chesterfield, but the manner of the defeat really took the wind out of our ‘Great Escape’ sails. Having given an awful lot to get back into the running for 20th place, the lads looked tired and spent against a Spireites team who ran rings around us right from the first whistle. You have to question why the team travelled up on the day of the game? It clearly didn’t help and you also have to question why the likes of Lapslie and Nouble even played? Such was their lack of fitness. The whole season has been full of questions to be honest, but all we can do is move onto the next one and a trip to Altrincham on Saturday. Can we regather momentum, regather energy and grab all 3 points to keep our hopes alive, let’s hope so.
Having missed the Chesterfield beating, I’d imagine that Asa Hall will come back into the line-up. How fit he’ll be is debatable, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Maybe he’ll just replace Tom Lapslie. The only other option is bringing in Brett McGavin, and despite a good goal on Tuesday night, Gary Johnson will try and avoid that at all costs. Otherwise the line-up will remain the same, you have to wonder if Frank Nouble can shake off an injury 4 days after hobbling around the Technique Stadium, and Nico Lawrence also didn’t look right. Plenty of patching up to be done and plenty of deep heat to be administered! Many of these issues can still be traced back to the woeful summer of recruitment, gathering up so many players who are not worthy of a Yelllow Shirt has hurt our chances all season long.
One of the few United players to look fit on Tuesday night was Lewis Collins. The winger has been in good form during the last month, a busy player, Lewis is always keen to get involved, moves well off the ball and works hard for the team. With others looking jaded, our best hopes for goals and impact could rest with Collins on Saturday afternoon. If possible I’d love to see both Collins and Stobbs back in a Gulls shirt next season, but that probably depends on which league we are in.
Altrincham FC have had a decent first season as a full-time club, sitting comfortably in 15th place on 54 points. Manager Phil Parkinson has been in charge for 6 years and has done a good job making Alty competitive season after season. We must hope that the Alty team are eyeing up their summer holidays and allow us to dictate this game, of course that may not be the case, but if United have greater intensity than their opponents then we should win the game. The home team are on a poor run of form (only one win in seven), so this is a very good chance for United to force the issue to the very last day of the NL season.
2 GAMES LEFT
I have to be honest I am very worried about this game! Worried because United’s legs were wobbling on Tuesday and worried because York and Maidenhead both have winnable games. It’s going to be a tense couple of hours at Moss Lane, a couple of hours where we could happily emerge on the same number of points as the 20th placed team, or an afternoon where our National League fate could be sealed. The Yellow Army will do their best to push the lads on I’m sure. Gary Johnson has remarked how good support has been for the last 3 weeks, well in fact it’s been bloody great all season GJ! We have done our very best home and away, and that will not change in the next two games. We will not give up on this club, whatever the league, whoever the manager, we will be there.