RHYL manager John Hulse will again be without injured James Brewerton and Jimmy Kelly as the Lilywhites look for a Christmas double over third-from-bottom Connah’s Quay Nomads in today’s return derby date at Belle Vue.
Both are again ruled out but three others who missed the Boxing Day 5-0 win at Nomads – Mark Connelly, Craig Garside and Chris Roberts – could be in the reckoning again.
“When we get Brewerton and Kelly back it’ll be like having two new signings,” said Hulse, who has been without Brewerton since the Uefa tie in Finland and Kelly since he first collected an injury in pre-season.
“We have one or two other ideas on the back-burner, but we already have a strong squad here and my new year wish is to get us back to full-strength after being really hard hit,” confessed the Rhyl chief.
“We’ve also suffered from stupid suspensions but that’s our own look out.”
Nomads manager Jim Hackett has signed former Warrington Town and Newi Cefn Druids defender Michael Burns from Gap Queen’s Park.
Burns, 22, joined Queen’s Park as captain last June but three red cards meant a succession of suspensions causing him to miss 11 matches.
Burns is in the frame for a debut at Rhyl along with new recruits Phil McDiarmid, against his old club, and ex-Chester striker Paul Wilcockson as well as former Wrexham and Wales under-17 international starlet Michael Cronshaw.
“It’s a tough start going to Rhyl but we aim to show real improvement and get ourselves moving up the table,” said the confident Nomads boss.
Waynne Phillips admits Newi Cefn Druids are under pressure to deliver when they host Airbus UK Broughton in their return today, writes John Bridgwater.
The Ancients continue to hover too close for comfort to the basement pack after going down 3-2 at the Wingmakers on Boxing Day.
Phillips said: “It was a disappointing result and puts us under pressure to win our New Year‘s day game,“ he said. “We had the perfect start, we scored after just two minutes but we then started to sit off and stopped doing the good things we were doing when we won at Welshpool five days earlier.
“Midfielder Geraint Lewis, who got their opening goal last week, is unavailable and joint boss Lee Jones is struggling with a recurrence of a groin injury.
Airbus, who have lost just once in their last five outings, will be looking to continue their upward trend by completing a quickfire double.