Walsden C & FC know they will have to up their game this weekend for a crunch match in the Rochdale Online Alliance title chase.
Dan Howley’s men host one of their three rivals for the crown, Woodbank, at Kingsway Sports Centre.
Walsden were way below par last Saturday, even though they earned a President’s Cup meeting with this weekend’s foes by overcoming Falcon II 4-0.
“We were poor, very poor,” said manager Howley.
“We missed enough chances to win 10 games.”
Walsden were without strike ace Danny Brown, who was working, and Howley made other changes to give squad members a run.
Midfielder Gary Brierley fluffed several early opportunities before Thomas Barnes opened the scoring after the ball bounced off the Falcon ‘keeper.
Walsden failed to put another past their division-lower opponents until Jonny Sutcliffe’s cross cum shot went over the custodian midway through the second half.
Jack Hanson’s chip and a last-minute James Steven effort completed the scoring after Brierley had missed a penalty won by Joe Gale.
Brown and Danny Welsh should return on Saturday but Cameron Hanson completes a three-game suspension.
Howley said: “If we play like last week we will get beat but I don’t think we will.”
Midgley United’s long-serving boss Craig Gee is wishing he could be in two places at once next month.
The date of United’s long-awaited Challenge Cup final appearance at the Shay has been revealed - Wednesday, May 13.
But Gee will be in Italy on that date, giving away his daughter Lauren in marriage.
“The final could have been on any other day and it would have been okay,” said Gee, whose side will play the winners of the delayed Warley Rangers versus Northowram game.
“It’s a bit disappointing but that’s life!”
It will be Midgley’s first final appearance in Gee’s eight-year stint at the helm.