Cleethorpes Town prepare to tackle resurgent Eccleshill
CLEETHORPES Town boss Andy Liddle is expecting a tough test from free-scoring Eccleshill United at the Bradley Community Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
The Owls, second in the Northern Counties East League Division One, are looking to bounce back from their Lincolnshire Senior Trophy defeat at home to Premier Division Barton Town Old Boys on Tuesday night.
Liddle's men have six wins from their last seven league games – a run that has steered them to second in the table, four points behind fellow newly-promoted outfit Athersley Recreation.
Eccleshill might be down in 17th, but they have bounced back to form with victories in their last two games – scoring four goals in both matches.
Liddle, pictured, said: "Eccleshill are a difficult side. They are one of a few sides that feel they are in a false position in this league, so it's one of those games.
"They will cause us problems and will come to Bradley full of confidence.
"We have a few injuries and a few players missing, so unfortunately I'll have to shuffle the pack, but I'm confident we can perform – we have players like Jack Richardson, who has come in from the Reserves and played well."
As the campaign nears the halfway mark, Liddle is delighted his team – last season's Lincolnshire League winners – are in the thick of the fight for promotion.
He said: "It's great that we've got the points on the board when we are two or three games away from the halfway mark.
"There are six or seven big teams in this league capable of being at the top.
"But we have played nearly everybody and most of those teams still have to visit us."
Liddle felt the 4-1 margin by which the Owls lost to Barton, a team that are fifth in the division above, was not a fair reflection of the match.
"On paper it looks like we were taught a lesson," he said, "but anyone that was there will have seen that we had the better chances and our goalkeeper had less work to do.
"It tells a story that their goalkeeper was man of the match.
"It's was still anyone's game at 1-1, but unfortunately they got a scrappy second and that put them in the driving seat.
"Barton are a good side and it was a good insight into the quality we'd need to compete at their level.
"But on the night it just wasn't to be for us."