Liversedge vs Hall Road Rangers
Monday April 23
Clayborn Ground, 7.45pm
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
By Neil Winsor
Photograph supplied by Lee Myers
PHOTO: Bill Gill and Andrew Watts must again ponder which players to rotate as Rangers face two games in 24 hours
IT will hopefully be third time lucky for Hall Road Rangers this evening as they look for their first win over Liversedge in three attempts this season.
With Rangers recording their fourth win in seven matches at Athersley Recreation on Saturday, they may have managed to drag the Barnsley based outfit into the relegation dog-fight as they now only sit six points behind, with three games in hand.
Hall Road despite been in decent form, do still remain in the bottom three however, with eight games to play, as Harrogate Railway, their nearest rivals managed to narrowly see off Clipstone on Saturday afternoon to leave Bill Gill’s side a point adrift, having played four games fewer.
The two previous games with their next opponents, Liversedge this season have so far been close affairs.
The league encounter at Haworth Park saw Rangers dominate for an hour, but after only having Josh Batty’s second minute strike to show for their efforts they were punished for a glut of missed chances which saw them eventually lose 2-1.
The sides also met in the league cup, and despite falling behind early, Rangers twice threw away the lead, after winning 1-2 and later 2-3, they went onto lose 4-3 in a pulsating cup-tie.
The message going into the win at Athersley was that Hall Road’s fate remains in their own hands, which is still the case, thanks largely to a stubborn weekend win in South Yorkshire, and a moment of individual brilliance from Reggi Waud, which helped win the game, and record a much needed maximum points haul.
Rangers boss Gill and his assistant Andrew Watts will be hoping to have Josh Batty available once more as the striker missed the weekend win with a bout of flu, having admirably played through last Thursday’s game at Clipstone ‘under the weather’
With a game following just 24 hours later from tonight’s game, which is a relegation six pointer at home to Parkgate, it is intriguing to see which way the management duo will go in terms of team selection, as once again changes are likely to try and freshen the squad up the best they can.
The likes of youngsters Joe Milner, Charlie Birley and James Tullett as well as Jordan Clark, could all come into contention for a start, alongside Conner Harman, as could Sam O’Malley and Benn Lewis with the latter both unavailable on Saturday, and James Whittingham is also champing at the bit.
Although Parkgate cannot be relegated before Tuesday, they will likely see their trip to Haworth Park on Tuesday night as last chance saloon, as their hopes of achieving a guaranteed survival spot, faded at the weekend after a 2-1 defeat at Thackley.
Hall Road will be keen for a positive result tonight though before any plans for Parkgate are put into place.