RHYL manager John Hulse has called on his players to “cut out the stupidity” after losing two key strikers to red cards in recent weeks.
Dave Cameron misses today’s trip to unbeaten Caernarfon Town as he completes a three-match suspension, while Lee Hunt starts a three-match ban after his dismissal in last week’s 1-0 home win over Neath.
“We really must cut out this stupidity that is costing us dearly,” said Hulse. “We are entitled to expect better of our players to conduct themselves in a professional manner and not handicap the team in this way.”
Hulse also has doubts over the fitness of Jimmy Kelly and Carl Ruffer, while James Brewerton remains on the injured list.
Although Chris Sharp continues to make headway after fracturing his leg last season, the manager is reluctant to pitch him into Premier League combat just yet.
“Chris is doing really well and scored again for the reserves in midweek but after 15 months absence it could still be a bit soon for him at this level,” he said.
Scoring goals is the problem most troubling Hulse after seeing his side dominate Neath but score only a solitary goal.
“We had hundreds of chances but wasted all but one of them,” he said. “We have got to be more ruthless and kill sides off and there’s no doubt we should be scoring a lot more goals than we are doing.
“Caernarfon have started very well and it’s always a local-derby atmosphere there so we are preparing for a really hard, competitive test.”
Fourth-placed Caernarfon have their own suspension woes, with strikers Chris Noone and Paul Addo both banned, writes Keith Evans.
Noone, sent off while playing in a five-a-side event in Liverpool, is suspended pending an appeal and Town fear the process will take weeks. Addo serves a one-match ban, after his two yellow cards at Carmarthen Town last weekend.
Kieron Quinn and James Thomas are also ruled out, while James Glendinning is rated as 50-50 after illness.
O’Shaughnessy said: “We have got enough players to turn out a decent squad – there is no worry on that front – but it is unfortunate that having had such a good start, all these problems should pile up now.
“Rhyl would have presented a tough test in the best of circumstances and the prospects are even more daunting now.”
Meabwhile, boos Ken McKenna believes The New Saints’ Park Hall ground will witness some more goal feasts in the coming months after the defending champions recorded a 6-0 romp over Caersws in their first game on the artificial pitch, writes John Bridgwater.
“It’s a very big pitch and it’s really difficult to close sides down, which is going to make for some really high scoring games,” said McKenna, whose side host Port Talbot today. “It wouldn’t surprise me if you get scores like 6-4.”
Midfielders Steven Beck and John Leah are set to return, striker Ronnie Morgan is on the comeback trail but John Toner is out.