Hebden Royd Red Star player-manager Chris Garbutt has appealed for his players “to be sensible” ahead of Saturday’s massive cup test.
Star are away to holders Ovenden West Riding, consistently Calderdale’s top amateur side, in the quarter finals of the Halifax FA Saturday Cup.
Garbutt has admitted to concerns about the timing of the game immediately after “Mad Friday” when many workers hit the pub after finishing for Christmas.
Ovenden beat Volunteer Arms 20-0 in the last round and while Red Star play a division higher than Volunteer, a heavy defeat is the last thing Garbutt wants for a team which has had a decent first half to the season.
Garbutt said a trip to Natty Lane, Illingworth was the most difficult draw Star could have. “It is going to be tough, particularly with a few missing,” he said.
Attacking spearhead Lewis Cockroft was absent for last Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Northowram in the Halifax AFL’s top flight and he is unavailable again. Midfielder Eddie Harvey is another key absentee.
Garbutt said he would ask his players via social media not to over-indulge on Friday.
He also needed his players to give 100 per cent effort and not suffer the lapses in concentration which had affected them in recent games.
Garbutt said his side had failed to get to grips with a sloping pitch at Northowram and conditions which he felt hadn’t been fit for play.
Star were already 3-0 down when a cross from James Chadwick deflected in off a defender for the visitors’ goal.
Calder ‘76 will also be bidding to reach the last four of the district competition.
They tackle fellow Halifax AFL Premier side Warley Rangers at Luddenden Foot and will be hoping to hit the ground running, having not played so far this month.
That break should at least have allowed any injuries to clear up for Rob Kenworthy’s side, who had an eyecatching 4-1 win away to Yorkshire Amateur League title hopefuls Ealandians in the last round.