Barnoldswick Town, who are currently eighth in the North West Counties League Premier Division, are set to be boosted by returning players after a crippling early-season injury list.
Already without Shaun Clough for the whole campaign because of an injury picked up at Runcorn Linnets towards the end of last season, Town haven’t been able to use Robbie Smith yet.
He is struggling with a foot injury, and doesn’t know when he will be back, but at least they have been boosted by the return of centre forward Mark Threlfall and midfielder Neil Chapman.
Threlfall, signed from Colne, scored four goals in the first five games this season, and has made as much of an impact on recovering from a hamstring injury.
He scored one and made one after coming on for the last ten minutes in the 4-1 West Riding County Cup first-round victory at Armthorpe Welfare, and has since added braces in the 4-2 League Cup win at home to Glossop North End that went to extra-time and the 4-3 second-round County Cup victory at Harrogate Railway Athletic.
Meanwhile, Spencer Jordan, Town’s leading scorer from last season, played early in the campaign and then went travelling the world.
He will be a big boost to the team when he returns at Christmas, but in the meantime Barnoldswick have signed striker Paul Fildes from Colne, who got off the mark against Glossop North End and is a good goal-scorer, and midfielder Danny Boyle from Nelson, who can also score goals.
Town’s home match against Stockport Sports last Saturday was postponed, and press officer Peter Naylor said: “The aim is to better last season’s position but it is an extremely tight division.
“On Saturday, we are at Stone Dominoes, who are bottom of the table, haven’t won a match yet and have lost their last six, scoring one and conceding 23. But when we met at our place in September we were 2-0 down at half-time and struggled to get a 2-2 draw, so we are taking nothing for granted.
“Next Tuesday we are at next-to-bottom Squires Gate, who are another strange side. You never know what kind of side you will be playing against when you are away in midweek but we beat them 3-2 at home in August.
“Then we have our big second-round FA Vase clash a week on Saturday, this time at home to Armthorpe Welfare. They won 3-1 at AFC Liverpool, who are in our division.”
Maybe the new warm-up tops that Barnoldswick have got from Everton will act as an inspiration.
Naylor explained: “One of our coaches is Ben Hall, and his dad David used to be involved on the coaching side at Everton and still has a lot of contacts. This was some of their surplus kit.
“In fact the new stand we built towards the end of the season to upgrade the ground in case we got promoted has seats in it given to us from Everton.”