Todmorden Borough boss John Gilford will have a number of key players available for Saturday’s West Lancashire League Division Two clash with fierce rivals Haslingden St Mary’s.
Gilford has seen his team selections hampered with a number of front line players having been unavailable to him in the opening eight games of the season.
However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel and a victory this weekend would go some way to erasing the disappointment of last Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Rochdale Sacred Heart in the first round of the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield.
Borough gave a good account of themselves for the first 20 minutes, but were then exposed - almost literally - after the referee had ordered a Tod defender off the field to change his cycling shorts.
Heart exploited the space to take the lead which was then doubled 10 minutes later when the ‘keeper spilled a cross and the striker had the simple task of knocking the ball home.
Tod did rally with Dave Patrick unlucky with a long range effort, but when defender Dan Lively was caught in possession, the visitors swept forward to make it 3-0 at the break.
Once again Borough stepped it up but the strikers were feeding off scraps.
Lively was then issued with a harsh straight red card and Heart took advantage to add a fourth.
“Disappointed was the overriding feeling at the end of the game,” said Gilford.
“We couldn’t get the ball into the forwards and that in turn keeps the defence under pressure.
“It is still a question of square pegs in round holes as far as the team is concerned, but I can see it turning around.
“I would like to think that it will be sooner rather than later.”
Gilford is boosted by the return of Chris Kay and Gaz Lawrence after they were unavailable last week, while Lee Earnshaw also comes back into the reckoning after serving his suspension.