STAFFORD Rangers boss Greg Clowes will be out to get the club’s play-off hopes back on track against local rivals Rushall Olympic this weekend, writes Dave McLean.
Unfortunately for Clowes, defensive problems, after an encouraging first half let Boro down and they conceded three goals in a league game for the first time since late October.
Missed chances also led to Rangers’ downfall, only their fourth on the road in league terms this campaign.
As a result, Rangers slipped three places to 12th in the table, two above Saturday’s visitors
Rushall, who are only a point down on the Marston Road men, but have four matches in hand.
Rushall arrive in town on the back of a good start to 2013, unbeaten in four games, including two wins against title contenders Hednesford Town.
The Pics opened the year with an excellent 4-3 victory at Keys Park, hitting back from a 2-0 deficit to take maximum points. More recently, Rushall pulled off a 1-0 Doodson Sport Cup home win over the Pitmen.
This weekend’s clash sees the return of several former Boro players, with ex-club captain Wayne Daniel expected to be included in the Rushall squad.
He will be joined by striker Dave Walker and two former on-loan players, Gavin Caines and Luke
Bottomer. Rangers are due to face Rushall (hold- ers) in the quarter finals of the Walsall Senior Cup on Tuesday, February 5 (7.45pm).
Young Rangers defender Oliver Davies missed the trip to FC United due to illness but Clowes expects him to return this weekend, but the news is not so good regarding Jon Sheldon.
The player had a knee operation last summer and returned to start just three matches in November, before again experiencing knee prob- lems. This week, Clowes confirmed that the left- sided player had again seen a specialist and would need further surgery.
Rangers have another cup date at the end of the month when they visit arch rivals Hednesford in the quarter finals of the Staffs Senior Cup on Tues- day, January 29 (7.45pm).