WHITCHURCH Alport’s weekend opponents are title-chasing Bootle, who sit top of the form guide and well-placed to derail neighbours City of Liverpool’s own title push.

The Merseysiders have won an incredible 14 league matches on the bounce, so will arrive in north Shropshire full of confidence.

Meanwhile, the Reds aren’t shy of confidence either, having won away at Barnoldswick on Saturday to all but end any lingering relegation fears. Alex Hughes bagged a hat-trick at the weekend inside nine minutes as Luke Goddard’s men demonstrated what they are capable of.

Goddard relegated himself to the bench on Saturday having played a couple of games up top with varying degrees of success.

A win at Litherland followed by a narrow loss at Irlam almost tempted the Reds boss to pick himself again, but he had a change of heart.

“At half past one it was looking likely that I was going to start,” said Goddard.

“But the more I thought about it on the coach travelling across to Barnoldswick, the more I thought that Alex would be more influential starting the game and not coming on from the bench.

“That proved to be an inspired decision and one I’m very glad I made given the way that things panned out. I’m yet to score my first goal for the club let alone grab a 10-minute hat-trick!”

Saturday’s win was Alport’s seventh on their travels and Goddard said that he was confident his side could get a result.

He said: “If every one of them were to put in a shift I knew we could get something, because they’d made a few loan signings from Burnley so I assumed they would be youngsters rather than tried and trusted experienced heads.

“I also thought the conditions would play a part with an energy-sapping pitch perhaps a factor, and so it proved.

“Although we travelled with a depleted bench, I still felt we had enough to trouble them.”

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