Bradford Park Avenue’s four-match unbeaten run hit the buffers in midweek when they were soundly beaten at former boss Lee Sinnott’s Altrincham.
John Deacey’s side had gone four games without conceding a goal but shipped in four against Sinnott’s men. They also finished with ten men after centre back Ryan Qualter was sent off following a foul on James Walshaw.
Deacey will have to pick his squad up for Saturday’s visit of Brackley Town, who will be focused for their trip to Horsfall Stadium after Avenue beat the promotion-chasing Northamptonshire outfit 1-0 in the reverse fixture last weekend.
Brackley were in the play-off places before Paul Walk-er’s strike in the penultimate minute consigned them to defeat. They are currently ninth, ten points better off than Avenue, but are just two points outside the Conference North play-off zone.
Deacey will be forced to make changes to last night’s starting line-up as James Knowles and skipper Nathan Hotte are both suspended. The ban for Hotte might be a blessing in disguise as he has been carrying an injury.
Avenue spokesman Lewis Sale said: “Nathan and Richard Marshall both had to come off after half an hour at Altrincham, so they would have been major doubts for this weekend’s game anyway.
“But even though Nathan needs a rest, he will be sorely missed.”
Deacey has always been against quick-turnaround reverse fixtures, so he will not be pleased that they will be facing the same opposition exactly one week later.
Even though his side were heavily beaten at Altrincham, who moved up to third in the table as a result, the manager took some positives out of the midweek game.
Sale said: “John was far from happy that we conceded so many goals after a run of four clean sheets but he saw some good signs.
“The team made a bright start. Chib Chilaka and Paul Beesley were playing really well up front but we just gave a silly goal away and the game got away from us.
“Jordan (Deacey) got us back into it before half-time and it was an excellent goal – not for the shot, because that took a slight deflection, but for the way he weaved his way into position to get the strike away.
“It will be difficult going again against Brackley because both teams will know all about the other. But I can’t recall any flashpoints from last week, so there shouldn’t be any problems about settling scores. It should be a decent game.”