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Port v Helygain / Halkyn - 27/08/00

Welcome once again to our second Cymru Alliance match at home in the space of four days. The matches seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment. A particularly warm welcome to our opponents today Halkyn United, they achieved promotion last season by not losing a single game in the League, any managers dream! With the two draws they have achieved so far they have proved that they will be a tough nut to crack and the players will need to continue their good form to claim 3 points.

So far it has been something of a silly season as far as results are concerned. Things will probably settle down in a few weeks. The scale of Danishís win at Bribe and Welshpool's at Lex were both surprising on Wednesday as was Holywell's win at Airbus UK on Tuesday. Our own match was a nail bitter as well, although I didn't think we played as well as we can except for a good patch during the first half. However the players commitment and effort cannot be faulted, and in that type of match it's often battlers which are required. The changes enforced on us by injury did not help either as players were forced to play in unaccustomed positions.

My biggest problem this week has been the mounting injury problems, this has provided me with selection headaches ahead of this afternoon's match. Both Nigel Barry and Neil Roberts continue to be injured with rib and ankle injuries respectively. Stuart Williams has a leg injury but he may be fit to play today. Definitely out are Warren Gibbs and Steven Pugh both with hamstring injuries. I am hoping that Ryan Davies will have recovered from his back injury but only time will tell. Cambell will return to the squad today alter his midweek absence. These early games have been frenetic with no quarter asked or given so injuries are bound to be picked up.

One of the most pleasing aspects of Wednesday's match was the players reaction to the final whistle. Arms were aloft and they were thrilled to have won. That will to win is going to be an important factor. I believe we have the players this year to match any team physically and have the ability among the squad to play the ball around when given the opportunity. If we also have that little bit of luck who knows what can be achieved.



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