Ashforth aims for league and cup gains

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STAND-IN manager Lee Ashforth is hoping to have a full squad available as Liversedge aim to bounce back from their recent lull in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division tomorrow before switching their attention to Tuesday’s West Riding County Cup tie.

Winterton Rangers are the visitors tomorrow (3pm) as Liversedge aim to end a six-match winless run before the Clayborners travel to Division One outfit Yorkshire Amateurs bidding to reach the second round of the County Cup.

Manager Billy Miller is still away on a coaching mission to Africa and Ashforth is again running things in his absence.

Ashforth said: “We have had a couple of hard games recently, against Bridlington and Staveley, who I think will finish in the top three or four and then last week’s derby at Brighouse.

“Anything can happen in derby games and with the history between the clubs, football tends to go out of the window.

“We now have a spell of about 10 games when we play sides in and around us, so hopefully by the end of November we will have a good idea of where we are going to be.

“Billy has always said the league will have a true reflection when we start playing sides for the second time.”

Andy Shuttleworth limped out of last Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Brighouse early in the second half but it is hoped he will be fit, while Daz Leach is back from holiday and Danny Cooper could also be in line for a return as he recovers from a calf and knee injury.

Ashforth added: “Me and Billy usually have a squad of around 16 to pick from when we take in injuries and holidays but I am looking like having a full squad to pick from.”

Liversedge impressed in the first half of last Saturday’s derby and deservedly held a 2-1 victory, which could have been more with a little more composure in front of goal.

Brighouse fought back late on and having equalised, two goals in the final seven minutes saw them snatch all three points.

Ashforth said: “The first half went really well for us and we could have had them dead and buried.

“Instead we were only 2-1 up and they came out and hammered us in the second half.

“We lost Andy Shuttleworth, while Chris Hannay hadn’t played for a while and tired late on, which left us short in midfield.”

Liversedge will aim to bounce back tomorrow, before Ashforth eyes cup progress.

“It would be nice if we could have a little run in the County Cup. This is the last cup competition we are involved in, so we want to do well.

“Some of the bigger sides, like Halifax and Ossett Town, tend to use their fringe players in this but, although it is something we may look at, we want to progress.”

Liversedge are 11th in the NCE Premier Division, just a place and a point behind tomorrow’s opponents Winterton, which has the markings of another entertaining game.

Yorkshire Amateurs lie 13th in Division One, so there is a good chance of Sedge making progress there and two wins would certainly provide the ideal tonic for Miller’s return.

Liversedge have five players selected in Heavy Woollen Minor side (Under-17s) who take on Barkston Ash this Sunday (2pm) at Overthorpe Sports Club.