41 games down. 78 points on the board.  And 5 games to go, 15 points to aim for. Barnet clinging to top spot by one solitary point, thanks for Bradley Wood. (More on him later.)

Suddenly the title race is wide open, thanks to Town’s win at Welling last Saturday, thanks to Macclesfield holding Brizzle Rovers earlier that day, and thanks to that late late Wood penalty.  (Incidentally no sooner had I blogged about our settled first Sixteen/Seventeen, then the gaffer brought in 2 newbies in on loan, Messrs Gowling and Chapell. No complaints here, although the Kidderminster boss Gary Whild didn’t seem too pleased: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32146307.    But then again, it reminded me of this http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30051104,  one of many ‘Kidderminster-have-no-money’ stories over the last 6 months or so.)

Anyway, I digress. As you know, this Easter weekend sees 2 games in 3 days for our beloved GTFC. And it has been noted that we battered both teams back at the start of the season. Let’s hope we can do so again.  There is a fully-fit GTFC squad to report, and there’s likely to be a bit of squad rotation between the two games:

Expected Squad; McKeown Magnay Robertson Nsiala Pearson Parslow Gowling Bignot Disley Brown Clay Arnold Mackreth Jolley Chapell John-Lewis Palmer Pittman Hannah (19)    And that’s a squad without, for example, Paddy McLaughlin, Paul Walker, Caine Winfarrah, Hamish Watson.

Our first opponents, Gateshead recently drew with Dartford; http://www.gateshead-fc.com/5378/mills-looking-for-more-after-dartford-draw

I really don’t like Gateshead.  Thought their ‘keeper Adam Bartlett was frustratingly brilliant in the first leg play-off last year. Then there is the level of play-acting we’ve seen from them in recent times, and I’m slightly envious of the stream of quality loanees they get from Newcastle – the best recent-ish example being Paul Dummett, now in the Toon first team squad. Now they have Adam Campbell, slight ginger striker, in on loan. And former South African international Matty Pattison, again ex-Newcastle, who played in the Prem in the final Keegan era.  Plus there are ex-Town links in Messrs. Rodman, Oster and Cummins.   I’ve tried not to mention their defender Craig Baxter;

http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/RED-CARD-HAMMER-BLOW-ANGERS-BOSS/story-21058306-detail/story.html

Anyway, our visitors have injury problems (including no Oster), and they need to win ALL their remaining games to make the play-offs; even that may not be enough.

Monday’s visit to Alfreton, with an amazing 2500 Mariners fans having bought away tickets, will see us hosted by the side that held Barnet to a draw, and where Bradley Wood has established himself, as very nearly an ever-present (40 of 41 league games) and a combined 9 goals in all competitions. (Not sure how many of those are penalties, mind.) And Andi Thanoj has played almost 20 games in their side since joining soon after their 7-0 defeat at Blundell Park back in August.  Alfreton have drawn their last 4 games incidentally. Just saying…..

A final thought; I know we all get frustrated by referees at this level, but is it just me that’s noticed that 99% of managers in this division are complete idiots? One final link for today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32160273 A well-deserved ban, that will only serve to deny some other teams the pleasure of laughing at him being sent to the stands for petulance…..

Please explore and enjoy our new-look, ever-improving website – hope to see you at forthcoming events at Blundell Park –  see ‘Home’ then ‘Trust Events 2015’.

UTM

DH