Todmorden Borough’s season goes into overdrive with four games in 10 days before the end of the month, starting at CMB tonight.
It is a crucial test for new manager Steve Hook and his players as an early pecking order is established in Division Two of the West Lancashire League.
Borough requested a free date last Saturday because several players were out of the area attending a stag-do for Chris Kay’s brother.
They are now playing catch-up with their fixtures and after tonight’s trip to Bolton they head up to Cumbria to play Furness Cavaliers on Saturday.
Borough then have two games at Bellholme, against Stoneclough next Tuesday and Croston Sports the following Saturday.
John Gilford, last season’s boss and still a key figure at the club, said availability of players would be a key issue in the busy spell.
Borough have no reserve side nowadays and he said Hook would be doing his best to put out as strong a side as possible.
“If you lose a few games and others win theirs you can find youself six or eight points behind by the end of August,” said Gilford.
With some players still involved with cricket, Gilford fears Borough could be down to the bare bones for some of the forthcoming matches.
Tod have played two games so far, winning 2-0 at home to Barrow Wanderers and losing 5-0 at Haslingden St Mary’s.
Gilford said the defeat away to Saints hadn’t been as bad as the scoreline suggests with a couple of Tod efforts against the woodwork at 1-0 down the turning point.
Haslingden also had a player who had been at Fleetwood last season who had cut them apart down the left. He didn’t expect the player to be at the club for long.
CMB and Furness also have three points from two games.
They have both beaten Stoneclough. CMB have lost 2-1 at home to Leyland United and Furness went down 2-0 with ground advantage against Barrow Wanderers.
Tod lost 3-1 at home to CMB last season when they were lacking captain Danny Welsh and Dan Lively and Gilford’s son Elliott got their goal.
They fared better in the away game, drawing 2-2, and might have won with an own goal and an effort from Ben Whitham.
However, Lee Earnshaw was sent off for dissent and CMB equalised late on.
“They are a good footballing side with a nice set-up,” Gilford added.