Barnoldswick Town boss Stewart Airdrie is gunning for silverware in the cup competitions after accepting that promotion is out of the club’s reach.
Airdrie, who was required to name himself on the bench alongside assistant Paul Cruz for the weekend defeat against Maine Road, now has the luxury of a near fully-strength squad for the Macron Cup tie away at Abbey Hey tomorrow.
Barring midfielder John Beckwith, who will miss the clash through suspension, the Silentnight Stadium boss has a deep pool of players to choose from as Jonathan Hodgkinson, captain James Crorken, Arley Barnes, Harry Thompson, Liam and Kieran Britton, Ben Gorman and Lewis Jordan all return.
Ahead of the third round tie at the Abbey Stadium, Airdrie said: “I’ve got selection problems now.
“The lads who came in did really well and staked a claim for the shirt.
“In the county cup and the league cup we usually like to mix it up a bit.
“We like to give the lads a chance who have maybe been on the fringe.
“However, with the way things have gone we can field a strong team because we want to kick on and try to win trophies.
“We want to have a decent cup run because the league is well out of our reach.”
Town have won just one game in 10 in all competitions with the latest setback occurring at Brantingham Road with a 2-1 defeat against Maine Road in the North West Counties Premier Division.
Mark Threlfall gave the visitors the lead when rounding the keeper to score after Liam Blades and Joe Gaughan combined down the left hand side.
However, the hosts hit back through Matthew Morgan and Richard Williams to claim maximum points.
Having witness Threlfall hit the woodwork twice, Samuel Howell strike the bar and Andrew Hill graze the outside of the post as Town sought an equaliser, Airdrie said: “The second half performance was really good and we did everything but score.
“We took the lead but Maine Road scored two really good goals after that.
“It was poor defending on our part because we didn’t get close to them but after that they didn’t threaten us or create anything.”
He added: “It was just one of those afternoons and I think if we had still been playing now we wouldn’t have scored.
“No matter what we did we just couldn’t find the final finish.
“It wasn’t through a lack of trying; they played really well in difficult conditions.
“We just couldn’t find the finishing touch.”
Town were without a game in the Storefirst East Lancashire League on Saturday, but will hope to return to action tomorrow, weather permitting, when they travel to face Stacksteads St Joseph’s at Stacksteads Recreation Ground in the Second Division, kick-off 2 p.m.