CAMMELL LAIRD go into Saturday’s FA Trophy clash with non-league heavyweights FC Halifax Town in fine form, having not lost in seven.
The Shaymen make the trip to Merseyside for the third qualifying round and will be overwhelming favourites, however in recent weeks two new faces have ignited Laird’s season.
Kevin Atherton and Joe Holt have joined the Kirklands outfit, resulting in an upturn in fortunes, showing there’s no substitute for fresh blood.
Since goalkeeper Atherton signed up for in September the results have been remarkable, with his side losing just one of the nine games he has kept net for.
Atherton, who has kept five clean sheets, couldn’t be happier with how it’s going.
He said: “Since I’ve arrived we’ve been playing well and picking up the results, I think it may be down to a change of formation which seems to suit us well.
“I’d been out of the game for a while so got in touch with the manager and thankfully he has given me a chance.”
The 24-year-old from Liverpool played for England colleges as a youngster and now finds himself donning the ‘number 1’ shirt at Kirklands, but is keeping level headed about the recent upturns in his fortunes.
“I’m loving it at the moment, fitting in has been easy as it’s a great set of lads here and I think there’s more to come from not only myself but the team too.
“There’s such good team spirit in the dressing room though, the banter is great, it’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in. I’m just concentrating on keeping my place and helping the club finish as high as we can.”
When Cammell Laird lock horns with The Shaymen it will be their biggest game of the season and all players in blue will be buzzing on the back of seven unbeaten.
Atherton said: “When the draw was made I was buzzing, so made up, you want to be playing against the big clubs.
“Cup runs are important, they can give us some good days out, whilst the league remains the priority.
“Obviously I know all about Halifax’s history and how big a club they are, it’s the biggest game of my career for sure.”