Blue Square Bet
Published 20th August 2012
.....season according to manager Glenn Pennyfather, who prepares his side for the visit of last year's third-placed team Welling United at Melbourne Stadium on Monday night.
The Kent outfit only lost out on promotion in the play-off final at Dartford in 2011/12 and, similarly to the Clarets, they started their campaign with a draw as Bath City left Park View Road with a 1-1 stalemate. Chelmsford finished one apiece at Havant & Waterlooville and Pennyfather has a similar squad at his disposal.
"Some of our players who didn't feature on Saturday will have a better chance on Monday," he said. "Max Cornhill played at Havant but took a knock, so we'll have to examine him, and there are a few who just need games before they can be fully considered. We've both drawn tough matches on the opening day and I assume they'll be up there again as they know what it takes to reach the top places."
That means centre halves Adam Tann and Kenny Clark will require fitness tests, as will central midfielder David Bridges and winger Warren Whitely. Defender Nicholas Bondon has already been ruled out for around three or four weeks but all of Saturday's squad, barring perhaps Cornhill, is ready to resume.
Two players definitely not available are striker Cliff Akurang and wide midfielder Greg Morgan, who both opted to move to other clubs within hours of the Havant fixture. Akurang will be taking up a player-coach role at another club while Morgan, who had been out injured for most of last season, is believed to have rejoined former club Boreham Wood. Pennyfather had reason to feel aggrieved on both counts.
"It was a massive disappointment when Cliff phoned me, and I was gutted when he gave me the news," he added. "It was a bolt out of the blue. He still wants to play and marry that with coaching so now he'll get the opportunity to do that. We also would have liked Greg to stay. He was injured for a long time but the club have been good to him and put the hard work in to get him back fit with Chris Duffy, our physio.
"We had the opportunity to perhaps send him out on loan somewhere to get games under his belt but he's decided to leave. Again, it's disappointing as you like to think people would give you something back under those circumstances. I've now got a little bit of budget available and could possibly bring another player in."