A SECOND consecutive league win has put Whitchurch Alport’s fate in their own hands as the promotion battle heats up in the North West Counties First Division.
Saturday’s routine 3-0 win at home to Bacup Borough sees the Reds go into their final 10 games of the season well placed to challenge for honours. They are among a number of clubs who all have their eyes on securing one of the two automatic places that would ensure Premier Division football next season.
But with two games in hand on leaders Litherland REMYCA – who come to Yockings Park on Easter Monday – and just three points behind them, it’s very much in Alport’s hands.
They trail second-placed City of Liverpool by a point but also have the luxury of an extra game to play. And with a weekend visit to basement boys Ashton Town looming, things could look brighter still on Saturday night.
Co-manager Luke Goddard was very pleased not only to bank the points, but also the manner in which those points were won.
“It was nice to get playing again after three weeks off,” he said.
“I didn’t think we looked rusty at all and played some really good football at times.
“Bacup didn’t have enough quality to really hurt us but we were very well organised at the back and keeper Ready’s not had to make a save all afternoon. We were thrilled to get young Luke Walley on board for the run-in and he’s one the Alex have high hopes for.
“I spoke to his mum and dad after the game and they were really impressed with the set- up here, as well as the quality of our players and how well we played.
“That’s great to hear because news travels fast in football and we’d like to think that when Crewe want to send any of their players out on loan, they will feel Whitchurch Alport is a club they can trust and let them come here safe in the knowledge they’ll be looked after.”
Alport’s bench on Saturday was the strongest it’s been all season and the likes of Stevie McNichol, Wes Nelson and Keaton Webster couldn’t make the squad – although Webster is carrying an injury.
But Goddard stressed the door remains open to all his players. “We’ve got nice headaches these days, with every player busting a gut to play,” said Goddard.
“We have an energetic squad that will be used to the full, with many of our remaining fixtures coming close to each other.
“That’s when you need quality in your squad and I think we’ve got that.
“We’ve been strengthening to help our position and with 20 players who are all very capable, I think we’re in a good place.
“I don’t think we’re weak in any area of the side and we have some players with frightening ability. It makes you wonder what teams like Bacup must be thinking when they turn up here.
“There’s a real vibe about the place and the improvements around the ground can’t fail to impress."