This season’s Buildbase FA Trophy run has meant Kevin Wilkin’s side have been handed some tough midweek trips in Vanarama National League North.
Wilkin saw his side’s seven-match unbeaten league run ended at leaders Chorley on Tuesday but Saints face two more long midweek trips. They travel to Darlington next Wednesday, only three days ahead of the FA Trophy quarter-final with Leyton Orient and still have to make the midweek trip to Hereford.
Saints are back at home on Saturday and Wilkin will be looking for his side to get over their setback at Chorley against in-form Curzon Ashton.
Shepherd Murombedzi is slowly getting back to full fitness so Connor Franklin remains the only player out through long-term injury. With a busy schedule, Wilkin will need a full squad to cope with the demands of the league and cup.
Wilkin said: “We’ve not had any games postponed through the weather, only because we’ve been involved in FA Trophy ties. But it just happens that all three games that have had to be rearranged have been away ones at Chorley, Darlington and Hereford!
“It’s a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way because it means we’re having another good season. We know what a good run in the competition brings but the fixtures could have been a bit kinder to us!
“We’ve got to play every team twice so we have to get on with it, although having those three away games in the space of five weeks is tough.”
Looking back on Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Chorley, Wilkin said: “It was a disappointing result but I can’t fault the performance and now we have to go again on Saturday against a Curzon side that have been in good form lately.
“We hit the post twice and had another one cleared off the line before they scored and then they got a contentious penalty decision which I still don’t know what for. The ball was in Danny’s [Lewis] hands before the referee gave the penalty for something he saw in the box.
“Chorley are top by some margin, so fair play to them, but we proved we can match any club at this level, we just didn’t get the tight decisions. It’s not an easy place to go, especially in midweek, the surface isn’t great there but Chorley do well on it.
“We’ve just got to put together another good run, with the same effort levels and we’ll have a good chance.”