They say that desperate needs calls for desperate measures, so when Whitchurch Alport boss Luke Goddard saw his side cave in last week at Squires Gate, he decided to do something about it.

Goddard has spent the majority of this season on the sidelines but as an accomplished centre half, he felt it was time for a return and to pull on his boots again.

The gaffer’s last appearance in a red shirt was in August and an individual error brought West Didsbury and Chorlton back into the game just before half-time. It ended up costing Alport dear as they fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Goddard gave a no-nonsense display for Saturday’s away game at Silsden, and it paved the way for his side to win following four successive, and damaging, defeats.

“The management team sat down with the players at training and we told the lads that we needed to get back to basics and use our identity which we had created since we came into the club,” said Goddard.

“We were honest with them and told them that we were reducing expenses and so on as over a two-month period we only had two home games. That obviously impacts on your finances and you have to cut your cloth accordingly.

“Additionally, we didn’t feel like we were getting the best out of the players and that there was little leadership on the pitch even from our more senior players. I announced that I would be returning to the side for Saturday’s match at Silsden and we discussed our game plan for that game.

“It worked perfectly well as we had to deal with a fair bit of pressure in the first half. At half-time I explained to the lads that I hadn’t passed the ball to anyone in a white shirt, what I had given was my very best and although it wasn’t pretty, it was effective.

“I wanted to frustrate them so when the chance came to put the ball out of play, I didn’t want us to simply put the ball into touch and allow them quick possession, I wanted us to hoof the ball out of the ground and buy 30 or 40 precious seconds.

“The longer the game went on the more they went direct while we began to probe their defence a lot more. I couldn’t believe it when Leon scored because in recent matches we’ve been missing guilt edged chances, so for a defender to tap in from six yards was great and of course it laid the foundations for the remainder of the game.”

Goddard asserted that his side were better than the league table might suggest.

He added: “It’s a well-known fact that we have lost 21 points from winning positions this season and that has hurt us a lot. If we could have put just half those points onto our tally then we would be in fourth position in the table.

“That’s what I mean when I say and keep saying that I don’t think we are too far off from being where we wanted to be.

“Our target was a minimum 50 points and that remains the aim. People seem to forget that we didn’t win an automatic promotion place although we reached the play-offs.

“Silsden won the league last year and Litherland were runners-up. They are both operating with the bulk of last year’s squad whereas we have improved in key areas. You would have to say that if we finished above both those sides that would represent progress.

“It would be fantastic to get another win but they are flying at the moment and so I expect us to defend properly and maybe grab something at the other end.

“We’ll be working hard in the coming weeks. I make no apologies for saying that this has to be the way forward in the short-term. Far too often we have finished up with nothing when we deserved to get something out of matches.

Now it’s purely down to getting enough points on the board to make sure we don’t get sucked into any kind of relegation battle. With five games out of the last six at home, that may be a slight advantage but I want the remainder of this season to be a learning curve so that we can progress once more next season.”