A seventh successive away win sent Alport into last night’s (Tuesday) crunch fixture at Bootle in confident mood.

Saturday’s 4–2 win at Barnoldswick Town helped the Reds climb into second place with six wins and a draw from their seven league matches.

Luke Goddard’s men did not fire on all cylinders but still did enough to earn maximum points from their longest trip of the season.

Goddard thought the conditions on Saturday played a part: “The pitch was really heavy and you could tell that we hadn’t played for 12 days.

"We started really well and had a chance to go two nil up but didn’t take it and that seemed to affect us.

"We weren’t helped when Dan Skelton had to leave the field and after that I felt we were really sloppy.

In many ways, I was glad to get into the dressing rooms at one apiece because we could quite easily have been trailing.

I knew we would score goals in the second half and that on a pitch like that they would tire particularly in the last 15 or 20 minutes and that’s what happened.

"We’ve got so many more attacking options than we had last season and competition is keeping everyone on their toes.”

The Alport boss was delighted with new boy Dave Howarth who made his debut for the club as a second-half substitute.

“The lad has scored goals wherever he’s been and he’s one we’ve been tracking for a while,” said Goddard.

“He’s got a goal to his name already and but for an absolutely world-class save from their keeper he would have had another one.

"He’s strong but has a good turn of pace and with the chances we create he’s going to be invaluable to us.

"Dave will start at Bootle and if we can get any kind of positive result there then it will be a statement to the rest of the league.

"We sent a scout to watch their game against Rylands on Saturday and he said that everyone around the place was talking about Whitchurch.

"That’s great that we are getting some recognition but at the same time it can work against you because everyone wants to beat you.”

This Saturday sees Alport in FA Vase action when they travel to Droitwich Spa in the first round.

It’s the furthest that Whitchurch have gone in the competition and they will look to progress further this weekend as their opponents play two leagues lower.

Droitwich are billing this as the biggest game in the club’s history and have been playing games at Stourport Swifts’ Walshes Meadow.

Goddard thinks the biggest threat might well come from the weather.

“Looking at the weather forecast it scares me to think of what a postponement would do to us,” he said.

“The last thing we want is a midweek trip down there and have more league games being forced back.

"We don’t want to be playing catch up with games in hand and we are scheduled to play Avro on Wednesday night (October 16) so want to play that game.

"We haven’t been able to have Droitwich watched and although they play two leagues below us, they are a relatively new side and will be looking to cause a shock.

"But this is the competition we want to do well in because we are probably one of the strongest step five clubs in the Vase.

"You only have to look at recent seasons when 1874 and Northwich Vics have both reached the semi-finals. To be so close to Wembley it must be heart-breaking going out at such a late stage.

"Success in the cups is a great way to put your club in the public eye and we’re more than capable of going on a decent run.”