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Worcester City boss pursues fifth Lane league victory
WORCESTER City are out to add Stalybridge Celtic to their list of scalps at St George’s Lane tomorrow (3pm).
Carl Heeley’s team won their first four Blue Square Bet North matches at headquarters and only a last-minute Harrogate Town equaliser stopped them making it five late last month.
Since then, they have continued their unbeaten run on home soil by also overcoming Weston-super-Mare in reaching the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Monday.
Stalybridge, two places lower in the table in eighth, will look to end that run and win in the league for the first time in three attempts but Worcester feel they have what it takes to prevail.
Manager Carl Heeley, whose side have lost just once in 13 matches this term, said: “We have a great team spirit at the club and everybody is in it together.
“When we scored against Weston, everybody was up off the bench and that epitomises how well we want to do for each other.
“Winning and being difficult to beat becomes a bit of a habit and we are starting to get that.You always have to be on your mettle but hopefully we can keep our good home form going.”
Captain Stuart Whitehead could return for City, who have failed to beat Celtic in their last three meetings, despite a solid performance from fellow centre-half Lee Ayres against Weston.
Whitehead missed Monday’s match through his work commitments as a firefighter but, with Jacob Rowe still nursing an injury sustained at Solihull Moors, Heeley may opt to rest the former Birmingham City trainee.
The City boss said: “Jacob has been carrying a bit of a groin strain and he did well to get through the two games over the weekend.
“That’s a great effort but he’s going to need to let it settle down so we will have to look at him. We kept a clean sheet and I couldn’t have asked for any more but it’s great to have Stuart back because he has been immense for us.”
Top-scorer Mike Symons is expected to have recovered from the hamstring complaint that forced him off last Monday, while keeper Glyn Thompson is making progress following a thigh strain.
“On Monday we were down to 16 fit players so we have got to be careful but hopefully they are minor knocks and everybody will be available,” Heeley added.