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Busy March now vital for City’s play-off aim
1:00pm Wednesday 29th February 2012 in Steve Carley By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
EIGHT games in 28 days represents a busy March for Worcester City.
Following a February fixture list interrupted by the weather, there is a lot riding on the next few weeks.
With no less than a sixth of their Blue Square Bet North matches set to be played before the month is out, the play-off picture will look a whole lot clearer, not least because they play teams firmly in the mix.
Boston United, who visit St George’s Lane on Saturday, sit 10th, while Gainsborough and Stalybridge, two of four home league clashes in March, are currently fifth and sixth respectively.
Carl Heeley’s team could also be in the Worcestershire FA Senior Cup final for the second successive season as well if they can overcome holders Stourbridge at the War Memorial Ground next Tuesday.
Worcester have worked hard to get themselves into this position and it is all coming to the boil nicely.
Midfielder Tom Thorley said: “It’s going to be a defining month with the cup semi-final and all the league games.
“It’s now a great opportunity to pick up a lot of points and put a run together.
“It’s a really big month for us. If we can put together any sort of winning streak we will be in with a chance (of the play-offs). If we can stay with the chasing pack then it’s anyones.”
City also enter March having finally registered their first victory of the new year with the 2-1 win over Blyth Spartans last Saturday.
Free of that millstone, which Thorley admits was weighing them down, Heeley’s team are relishing the challenge ahead.
The University of Worcester student said: “Subconsciously it was a slight burden and that showed in the last 10 minutes on Saturday when we were a bit twitchy.
“But everybody has got the buzz back now and you could see that at training on Monday. As long as we push on from Saturday, we should be OK.”
In years gone by, such a schedule would have stretched City’s resources to the limit but they are now approaching the situation from a position of strength.
Last Saturday, for example, striker Danny Carey-Bertram, winger Danny Edwards and central defensive duo Ryan Clarke and Lee Ayres were on the bench.
Thorley added: “I doubt many teams in the division could have bettered that.
“You get a fixture backlog every season but Carl and Matt (Gardiner) have been putting a squad together to cope with it.
“People have missed out in the last few weeks but now they have got the chance. It’s a great opportunity for everyone in the squad.”
One of those is striker Michael Taylor, who grasped his moment with both hands against Spartans, scoring the second goal and hitting the bar with a cute lob.
“He gives us that extra dimension that we haven’t really had,” said Thorley, who also hit the woodwork in the second-half.
“All the lads like playing with him and he’s also a great asset to the squad.”
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