New Mills still in the hunt, despite tough month of players missing
New Mills joint manager Dave Birch believes his unbeaten side have done remarkably well to still sit joint top of the North West Counties Football League Division One South after a trying month of having key players missing.
Jake Pollard netted both goals in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Maine Road as the Millers stayed second only on goal difference to West Didsbury & Chorlton.
“It's been a challenging month with one thing and another,” said Birch.
“We are doing well having had injury and Covid problems. We are hanging in there.
“Our keeper Dylan Forth had a suspension and then missed a game through working away when the Isle of Man game was rearranged at short notice.
“Joe Bevan, our top scorer, has missed the last three or four games due to Covid.
“Rick Tindall, our other centre forward who has been injured most of the season was rushed back in due to the lack of forwards, scored us a couple of goals, then ended up breaking his toe against Isle of Man and is now out for another four or five weeks.
“Big Sam Amankwaa is back in the squad but has missed most of the season with a broken toe.
“My centre half Harry Norris is missing on Saturday, but I am hoping to have Dylan and Joe back.
“Throw all those things into the mix and we are doing well to still be unbeaten. And we have just had a couple of really tough games.
“Maine Road came to frustrate us on Saturday and hit us on the break. But we broke them down in the last 10 minutes.”
On Saturday Mills head away to fourth-placed Abbey Hey and Birch said: “They are a very good side – one of the two best teams in the division with West Didsbury. They're very strong with a lot of experience in their team.
“It will probably be our biggest test of the season so far, and not having Harry Norris at centre half will be a big miss.
“It will be tough but we're looking forward to it.
“We are one ones who are unbeaten so let them worry about us. “We are confident going into it. We have nothing to fear. I have every confidence in my team and the players I have to go there and pick up three points.
“We wont be going there to nick a draw, we are going there to win.”