Alsop facing fitness race for Cleeve trip

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Julian Alsop is a doubt for tonight's game against Stourport Swifts

TOP scorer Julian Alsop faces a race to be fit for Bishop’s Cleeve’s trip to Stourport Swifts tonight.

Boss Paul Collicutt said the big striker was nursing an ankle injury and might not be ready to play.

“Julian is struggling with his ankle and is a real doubt for tonight,” said Collicutt.

“Sam Avery has a problem with his hamstring too and Robert Mansell is definitely out after spending Saturday night in hospital with concussion.”

However, the return of Steve Jones and Mark Pritchett from a one and three-match ban respectively “evens it out a bit” according to Collicutt, who will be looking to build on his side’s draw against Almondsbury on Saturday.

When asked what he knew about Stourport Swifts, Collicutt admitted he didn’t know much about the latest team to be added to the South and West Division from the Midland league, but was concentrating on making sure his team were focused.

“A win in this league can lift you up four or five places so we really want to get the three points tonight,” he said.

“The league is the bread and butter and it is important we win tonight so we can take that positivity into the FA Cup tie against Woking on Saturday.”

Collicutt said Saturday’s game against Almondsbury was two points lost rather than one point gained and described Cleeve’s home form as “patchy”.

“I had a chat with their manager after the game and he said that was the fifth or sixth late goal they’ve scored this season,” he said.

“It was a disappointment as our goalkeeper only had one shot to deal with all game and before you know it, he was picking the ball out of the net.

“The only time they threatened us was set-plays and corners, so we showed a bit of a lack of concentration to concede so late on.

“When the ball was in play they didn’t look like troubling us at all.

“The most important thing is that we learn from it and concentrate on tonight.”

With Cleeve currently lying around mid-table in the Zamaretto League South and West Division, tonight’s game gives them the chance to move up to sixth as one of only four clubs to be involved in midweek games.

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