Whitchurch Alport boss Luke Goddard is warning his players to be on their guard as they look to defend their Ethelston Cup crown against FC Oswestry Town at Yockings Park tonight.

Alport will be looking to defend the trophy they won as recently as October but Alport will go head-to-head with FC Oswestry Town who are going well in the NWCFL First Division South.

Town will arrive at Yockings looking to claim a prized scalp with nothing to lose and Goddard expects a tough game, warning of the danger that Oswestry may pose.

"On paper you might think that they will want this more than us," he said.

"They will want to do a number on us and we'll have to make a few changes from Saturday due to unavailability.

But it's a final with a prize at the end of it and we can all remember how we felt when we brought the trophy back to Whitchurch after a nine-year wait. We must guard against complacency and if we can do that and play to our full potential then we should have something to celebrate on Wednesday night."

The Reds managed to grab a vital home win at the weekend, finally giving their supporters something to celebrate after going almost five months without a win on home soil.

There have been several times where they've been close and have not always got what they've deserved from some pretty decent performances.

But the Counties Premier Division is one that provides a test no matter who the opponents and there are no easy games with Saturday's match a perfect example.

The win over Burscough leaves Alport needing just two more points from their last five games to be sure of surviving in the top-flight but in reality they probably have points on the board to spare already.

Goddard described the victory as an important one but felt his side fully deserved their victory.

"I didn't think that 1–0 was a true reflection of the match and it could have finished 7-3," he said. "You'd have to say that both goalkeepers did very well but once again it was in the final third where we perhaps should have done better.

"The biggest thing for me was to send our supporters home happy for a change. Another 232 people coming into the ground which maintains our average of 231 shows the interest in the football club.

"It's been embarrassing to go nearly five months without winning at home and that's only our fourth victory all season here. Clearly our fans deserve better than that but now we've got the proverbial monkey off our backs as well as pretty much rubber stamping our top-flight status, we might be a bit more relaxed for the remaining matches."

Alport have turned over a number of players over the course of the season but Goddard believes the changes were necessary.

He added: "We are in transition as a club and when you are striving to improve so that we might be able to challenge at the top end next season, you have to take difficult decisions.

"Some talented players have moved on but when you look at someone like Joe Minshall who's been here as long as I have, his attitude has been first class. The lad has been asked to play in almost every position defensively but has got on with it and is now getting an extended run in the side.

"He deserves that because he's never complained when he's been left out and there might have been a few times when he hasn't agreed with me. But the gauntlet is with players; prove me wrong and I'll always be delighted."

It's unlikely that the Reds will finish any higher than 13th in the league and it's frustrating for Goddard when he assesses the 33 league games played to date.

"Most of our hard luck stories have come at home – there always seems to be some sort of drama here," he said. "We've lost 24 points from leading positions and lost so many games by just one goal that we could easily have mounted a top six challenge in our first season at this level.

"It is what it is and we are where we are – the tables don't lie. You never sit still in this game and already we are preparing for next season."

Incredibly, by the time Alport take the field in a league game, only two weeks of the season will remain! City of Liverpool (CoL) will come to Yockings dreaming of promotion to step four and Goddard thinks it could be a great day for the club.

"I ask everybody that follows Alport who can bring a friend to the ground that day to do so," he said.

"They could well bring 200 supporters with them and despite our friendship with them we will want to turn them over. I think their next league fixture is also against us and by then they may have lost their place at the top of the table.

"Bootle are absolutely flying and so the pressure will be on CoL. I'd love to think that we could smash our attendance record of 733 and if we can generate enough interest in the town then who knows?"