Whitchurch Alport boss Luke Goddard believes if his team finish above this Saturday’s opponents Litherland REMYCA come May, there’s a chance they will be promoted as that’s how highly he rates the Merseysiders.
Alport progressed through to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase on Saturday after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Pershore United.
The Reds return to league action this weekend when they head to the Litherland Sports Park a point ahead of REMYCA.
Goddard believes beating the Liverpool side would be ideal, but happily admitted he would take a point before kick-off.
“I think Remy are the team to beat in this league and if we finish higher than them, there’s a good chance we’ll get promoted,” he said.
“We’re really keen as a group to keep our unbeaten record going next week so if you offered me a point now I’d be happy with that.
“Neither of us have lost yet and Silsden are flying so it’s important we do well against teams who will likely be up there challenging with us at the end of the season.
“We’ll have a couple of more additions coming in because our squad needs boosting – especially with our current injury situation. We’ve made a few phone calls and expect to have one or two on board by the weekend.”
Saturday’s eight-goal thriller at Yockings Park had it all – goals, penalties and a even a red card, but the important thing was that that the Reds made it through to the next round.
And Goddard admitted he had no problems with the decision to dismiss Stevie McNichol in extra time and while he praised his form, he says getting back into the team will be tough.
“I don’t think I’ve been involved in a game like that except at maybe junior level; certainly not in an FA competition or a game that really means something,” said the Alport boss.
“The important thing though for me was about getting through and we’ve done that. I thought for the first 15-20 minutes we were dreadful but for long periods after that, we were outstanding and they couldn’t cope with us.
“While it’s disappointing to concede four goals it’s another experience we can learn from, and it’s stretched the unbeaten run to eight which is really pleasing.”
Goddard added: “Perhaps we deserved that slice of luck going through on penalties after losing in extra-time last season. But we need to be a lot better against Highgate United in the next round in two weeks or we’ll get battered.
“I’m not going to sit here and defend it because Stevie got sent off twice last season for similar incidents and it was a tackle he didn’t have to make.
“One of our fans just asked me if we were going to appeal it and I said no because it was a sending off. I’m gutted and I know he will be too because he’s been absolutely superb for us this season.
“Now he’s missing for three matches when we’re already stricken with injuries.
“When he’s served his suspension he might have to wait for his chance to come around again.”
Goddard was confident goalkeeper Danny Read would be the hero and admitted he was happy to get some minutes for Matty Ashbrook, who has already had two spells with the club.
“I’ve kept in touch with Matty and always got on with the lad,” he added.
“He initially turned up to training on Thursday night and I thought he’d be useful today so planned to give him half an hour.
“At 4-2 we threw him on thinking we’d see the game out comfortably and the lad’s ended up putting 70 minutes in.
“He’s obviously short of fitness but that will come and he’s shown in flashes again today what a great asset he could be for us.”
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