PREDICTING Worcester City results has become an increasingly tricky business.
For a team occupying one of the Blue Square Bet North play-off positions, they are going through something of a turbulent period at present.
On the road, they have picked up points of late — a thoroughly deserved victory at Boston United and a more expected stroll against Hinckley United.
At St George’s Lane, the wheels haven’t exactly come off but they are certainly wobbling a little.
City won their first four matches on home soil this season but it is remarkable to think that more than two months have now passed since they last tasted success there in the league.
The FA Cup triumph over Weston-super-Mare aside, you have to go back to the 2-1 win over Droylsden on September 15 for the last three-point haul.
Carl Heeley’s team might have stopped the rot of three consecutive home defeats by drawing against Workington but the air of invincibility that surrounded them at HQ earlier in the campaign, for the time being at least, has gone.
They scored a fine goal, excellently crafted and finished by Tyler Weir, helped along the way by a neat Matt Breeze lay-off.
But they also conceded a cheap goal, keeper Aaran Taylor’s long punt forward creating chaos in the centre of City’s defence and Gareth Arnison sweeping the ball under Glyn Thompson.
Saturday’s stalemate wasn’t the convincing riposte most were hoping for following the FA Trophy defeat to Altrincham.
Neither, however, was it a complete disaster and, in the grand scheme of things, City will probably just be glad to have steadied the ship.
The performance was again not what we have come to expect from the class of 2012 but there were extenuating circumstances. Illness to centre-half Jacob Rowe meant Lee Ayres had to play despite nursing two broken ribs and the defensive reshuffle was compounded by a first-half injury to captain Stuart Whitehead.
Rob Elvins dropped back, handing a debut to new signing Rob Hulbert, but, with winger Danny Edwards already filling in for the suspended Ellis Deeney at left-back, City’s back-line had an unfamiliar look.
Injuries to Danny Glover and Michael Taylor also prompted the hosts to deploy Mike Symons as a lone striker, a tactic that left the top-scorer feeding off scraps or trying to create his own chances.
All that doesn’t bode well for tomorrow night’s trek to second-placed Guiseley but, given City’s unpredictability, I wouldn’t put it past them to go and win in West Yorkshire.
Key personnel injured or not, Heeley’s team have previous of rallying in adversity and getting results.
Trips to Boston, both this season and last, ended in victory with players deployed in unfamiliar positions or suspended.
They’ve done it before, they can do it again.