9:30am Wednesday 16th April 2014
GORNAL Athletic boss Andy Wyton thinks the next two games will be pivotal to this side's Midland Alliance future.
They were due to play Walsall Wood away last night, which is their game in hand on the sides around them, before facing a crunch clash against bottom-of-the-table Heather St John's this Saturday.
Wyton has targeted four points from the two games and feels the back-to-back away fixtures could make or break their survival fight.
"With games now starting to run out it is important we pick up wins, especially against the teams around us," he said.
"It is an important time for the club. We have played well in recent games and picked up some good home wins, but it is no good if you then go and lose to teams that are down there fighting as well.
"We have got ourselves into a position to stay up but now need to kick on once again to make that possible."
Athletic will then play away at AFC Wulfrunians on Monday before taking on relegation rivals Heath Hayes at Garden Walk the following weekend.
Gornal go into the crucial period on the back of a 2-1 away loss against Stourport Swifts last Saturday.
Striker Lewis Pountney marked his Swifts return by bagging both goals in the defeat of struggling Gornal.
And the home side were able to celebrate the win even though they had to field defender Jamie Willets in goal.
Usual keeper Sam Hawker played through the pain barrier in the midweek match with Highgate but was unable to face the Peacocks.
And with no other keeper available, manager Rod Brown was forced to hand the gloves to Willets, who produced a decent display when Gornal managed to break through the Swifts defence.
It took until 12 minutes into the second half for Stourport to open the scoring, and it was Pountney, back in the starting line-up after missing the Highgate game through injury, who found the net. Star man Calvin Dinsley played a clever ball through to Luke Morris whose low, hard ball into the area hit a defender and the upright before Pountney was able to slot home from close range.
The excellent Dinsley was also involved in his side’s second goal seven minutes later, picking out the run of Jamie Hyde down the wing. His pin-point cross found Pountney in the centre who finished with a deft side-foot volley.
Gornal striker Dreniz Bala pulled one back for the visitors eight minutes from time when he rode the challenge of Michael Briscoe before drilling an effort past Willets.
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