MATT Burton faces two away games in the next four days that may well crank up the pressure for the beleaguered Whitchurch Alport boss.

The side has won just two games in the last 17 in all competitions and both of those were away from home.

Another hugely disappointing result at the weekend against a side that had already lost 16 league games before arriving at Yockings Park would have done little to improve Alport supporters moods.

Skelmersdale had only picked up one point from their previous five matches on their travels so might have been seen as rich pickings.

However, the Reds are almost four months now since a home win and despite home-grown Matty Owen scoring an early goal Alport couldn't fashion too many other decent opportunities in the remaining 79 minutes.

Last week's scheduled match at Longridge was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and so the sides will try again this evening (Wednesday).

Town are going well in the league and have a significant incentive to win tonight's game.

Victory could move the Preston-based outfit up to fourth in the table with games in hand to find a way into one of the three automatic promotion places.

But without a win in their last three league outings this may be a decent opportunity for Alport to cause an upset.

The games don't get any easier for Burton's men as they travel to runaway leaders 1874 Northwich at the weekend.

The Greens have the most potent attack in the division as well as the meanest defence and hold what looks like an unassailable advantage with just two months of the season remaining.

In 24 of the 26 matches in the NWCFL Premier Division they have picked up points so it will need every bead of sweat to be expended at Townfields for Alport to come away with anything.

Alport's assistant boss Steve May thought his players were nervy for most of the match against Skelmersdale

"We'd worked hard in training to ensure we started well with a high press and put them under pressure early doors," said Steve.

"That worked well and we scored a good goal but you could tell after the first 20 minutes when we failed to add to the scoreline, the players started to lack belief.

"Instead of coming out in the second-half and pinning them back to look to kill them off we actually went into safe mode.

"We never really looked like scoring and we sat back inviting them to come onto us.

"We paid the price and it came as no surprise when they scored."

With one or two players ineffective for large parts of the second half it was crying out for a change.

Whether or not that was shape, formation or substitutions, May admitted that the management team could have done better

"I'm happy to accept criticism because yeah we should have changed it looking back," he added.

"We were missing a number of key players with Stu Dickin suspended, Dan Skelton unfit, Steve Jones away and Ryan Alcock suffering a bereavement before the game so we were a bit short on the bench.

"I'm not using that as an excuse because there were still opportunities to put on fresh legs and even experience with Streety coming on to add some guile in the centre of the park."

There was one huge positive for Alport with young keeper Jack Atkinson impressing on his debut after Dave Parton's move to Congleton.

May was delighted with the youngster's performance

"Wow! The kid was unbelievable. Do you know what? He's a nutter," enthused May

"The lads can't believe it because at such a young age he has great confidence and is quite a character in the dressing room.

"Out on the pitch though he can be really proud with his performance.

"Okay he conceded the penalty late on but I told him afterwards that he could learn from that.

"Their lad was quite clever and admitted after the match that it was a soft decision and that he'd gone looking for a penalty.

"Jack was a bit naïve but in a race for the ball like that we'd have been disappointed had he not gone down at the striker's feet.

"He made some outstanding saves even after the equaliser and was superb for us.

"So was Matty Owen – what a player we have there.

"He was everywhere and scored a terrific goal but it's his all-round contribution that pleases me the most.

"Don't forget that was a really difficult pitch out there.

"Selfishly I wouldn't have minded the game being called off despite some unbelievable work from some of our volunteers to get it played.

"When it goes heavy like that it doesn't suit our style of play and it showed especially in the second half when the pitch cut up really badly."

May wanted to pay tribute to the squad who had spent the last three weeks without a game.

"I can't speak highly enough of the players," he added. "Their attitude has been magnificent.

"They haven't known from one week to the next whether or not we'd have a game but they've prepared really well.

"They've been told we are training at one place then the other but to a man they have turned up and given their all.

"I want the supporters to know that we are working so hard and we know where our deficiencies lie.

"We are continuously looking to improve the squad and we are confident that we can bring in a new face or two in time for the 74 match at the weekend.

"We know we are in for two tough games but if we can get out the 16 players we'd want to send into battle then we can give both Longridge and Northwich a game.

"We've seen in the Longridge home match and again against Bootle that we can compete, but in both games it was our lack of cutting-edge in the final third that conspired against us."