By Neil Winsor
THE only way is up according to Hall Road Rangers manager Bill Gill as they prepare for yet another fixture, this time at home to Handsworth Parramore this evening (7.45pm)
With Harrogate Railway losing against Hemsworth MW last night, Hall Road’s task has become clearer in what they need to collect in terms of points, to guarantee a second year of NCEL Premier Division football.
Gill is keen for his side not to let their efforts drop going into the final week of the season, as they look to finish the season as high as possible, rather then look over their shoulders.
He told www.hallroadrangers.co.uk;
“We are wanting to finish as high as possible and then we can look at the deduction and see where we would have finished this year in our first season at this level.
We only need four points now from our remaining six games to guarantee safety and that is even assuming Harrogate win both of their last two games as well.
The message remains clear though as we want to finish as high as possible.
There will be no looking behind from here on in, only what is above us.”
There has been lots of opinion surrounding the twelve point deduction, which has overshadowed Hall Road Rangers season since it was handed out at the turn of the year, and more recently the extreme number of games they have been forced to cram in before the season’s conclusion in nine days time.
Gill, his assistant Andrew Watts, and the players themselves can take a lot of heart to how they have responded under extremely difficult circumstances and now sit on the brink of guaranteeing their survival.
The club are all to aware though that the job is not yet complete and in Handsworth Parramore, they face a stern task, despite rolling them over comfortably earlier in the season, something no doubt the visitors will be keen to avenge.
“It’s going be an extremely tough night tomorrow night as we play an inform Handsworth side, who have won seven of their last nine games and sit fourth in the table.” Gill continued
“They have shaken things up in terms of their personnel and they have done well.
They lost Aaron Moxam but then recruited Jordan Turner up top, who admittedly I am a huge fan of.
He is a raw talent and on his day is unplayable and we will need to pay particular attention to him.”
With the club’s social media suite more resembling accident and emergency on Tuesday night, Rangers will have a number of players missing but will still have a strong lineup at their disposal.
Fraser Hansen (ankle) is definitely out whilst Danny Norton and Alex Stock are carrying niggles.
Conner Harman had to be replaced in the 4-1 win over Parkgate just two days ago with an eye wound, whilst Josh Batty has been unwell for much of the previous week, but came back to score as a substitute on Tuesday night.
Sam O’Malley is also missing due to unavailability.
Bill Gill has therefore laid down the gauntlet to some of his fringe players to make an indelible impact, and follow the likes of Stock, and in particular Reggie Waud who has been outstanding this week, bagging two goals, and both youngsters are now considered regular fixtures in the first team squad.
“We do have several injuries and holidays so we are light and that is also no secret that we have played a lot of games, however the starting eleven will be strong and competitive, and we have some amazing young talent on the bench waiting for their opportunity. Our form, like Handsworth’s is also good.”