RHYL manager John Hulse could find himself without five senior players as he looks to make it nine points in 10 days at the expense of bottom-of-the-table visitors Llangefni Town today.
Having completed a Boxing Day and New Year’s Day derby double over Connah’s Quay Nomads the Rhyl chief finds himself hit by a stream of injuries.
Carl Ruffer who collected a knock in the tight 1-0 win over Nomads in midweek faces a late fitness test along with Stuart Graves, who failed to get the all-clear to turn out in that game.
Chris Roberts, who has missed the last few matches, is another doubt while both Jimmy Kelly and James Brewerton remain sidelined for what Hulse has warned could be a testing encounter.
“Llangefni had mixed results over Christmas but they will want to impress their new manager especially with such a tight relegation struggle going one,” said Hulse.
Third-placed Rhyl have already won 3-0 at Llangefni this season so are on a double but Hulse is taking nothing as read and is preparing his side for another hard game.
He said: “Our injury problems seem to go on and on and we no sooner have one player back than we lose another one.
“We know Llangefni will be coming here looking to push us all the way and we must be ready for them. We need to keep this winning run going a lot longer yet.”
Llangefni’s five signings, rushed in by new player-manager Alex Kevan to bolster the club’s relegation escape, are eager to be involved, writes Keith Evans.
Four of the arrivals – Paul Roberts, Tony Davies, Gerard Smith and Chris O’Brien – figured in the New Year’s Day 4-2 win at Porthmadog and now clearance is expected for John Boardman from Colwyn Bay.
But midfield general Steve Kehoe is out through suspension, Dylan Owen has flu, while Chris Evans, who was not involved at Porthmadog, hopes for a recall.
Kevan, a flu victim himself, said: “Nothing is expected of us at Rhyl and, in that sense, we will not be under any pressure there. I have not seen Rhyl myself but have had reports that they are a big, strong side and have a sizeable squad, who have achieved a lot.
“We are now looking forward positively, with competition for places, because of the influx of new players, and we hope to build on that fine performance at Porthmadog.”
Meanwhile, Porthmadog host Newtown today with one obvious New Year resolution – to start winning their home games.
The team have lost all nine league appearances at The Traeth.
Manager Viv Williams said: “This is a real must – to get our home form right in the second half of the season, and the sooner the better. To do that, the players must battle and work hard, and we are convinced that we have the quality and ability in the squad.”
Porthmadog’s line-up will hinge on fitness checks on striker Carl Owen and midfielder Aled Rowlands, both of whom have calf muscle injuries, and defender John G Jones, with a hamstring problem.
Newtown are looking for their first win in nine league games, writes John Bridgwater.
“Although we’ve not won in eight, we’ve drawn four of those games so it’s not as if we’re losing every week, but we need to start turning some of those draws into wins,” said manager Darren Ryan.
Ryan is hoping to bring in a couple of new faces, possibly Port Talbot midfielder Dylan Blain and ex-Caersws midfielder Graham Jones.