AFC Telford v Altricham preview: Bucks respond to Gavin Cowan’s one gripe
Gavin Cowan cannot be too critical this season.
But the Bucks boss is striving for perfection – or whatever suffices in getting his AFC Telford United team into the National League, writes Lewis Cox.
Telford can take another significant step towards sealing a top seven berth by beating Altrincham, two places better off, on home soil tonight.
Three points for Cowan’s men, to build on a fine point at leaders Chorley, will draw the Bucks level on 62 points with Alty and Bradford Park Avenue, although both have a superior goal difference.
One lingering criticism from this fine campaign, in which Telford’s first target was to avoid the drop, is his players not turning their dominance into reward.
But Cowan was pleased to see the Bucks take a point when not consistently at their rip-roaring best and it bodes well for tests ahead, beginning tonight against Phil Parkinson’s in-form visitors.
“I like to look beyond the emotion of a result and at the manner of a performance,” said Cowan.
“The only thing I can be critical off is when we’ve really dominated but not got anything from games, which has been somewhat disappointing.
“We were really good at times and not so good in others but we got a point and ultimately that is what it’s about.
“After the game I didn’t know whether to throttle them or be proud of them.
“But I was proud of them because they got stuck in and worked so hard. So many times we’ve dominated teams and not got what we deserved.
“Wes showed some good composure. James McQuilkin and Darryl Knights were awesome and so was Ellis Deeney until he got the red card.”
There have been occasions this season where the Bucks have drawn or lost games they should have taken more from.
Home draws against Hereford, Guiseley and Blyth Spartans, are examples.
Grinding out draws and victories while not clearly the better side gives Telford’s play-off charge an extra boost.
Telford’s four matches after tonight are against mid-table sides Curzon Ashton, Hereford, Alfreton and York. Securing positive results at the business end of the season is all that matters.
Winger Brendon Daniels is returning to some of his best form and will need no extra incentive to net against a team he featured for earlier in the season.
Telford’s spot-kick hero at Chorley made seven appearances for Alty on loan from former club Port Vale at the start of the season, starting four games. Marcus Dinanga, who had been nursing a hamstring injury, is available.
The boss revealed the former Hartlepool striker could have been in contention to feature at Chorley and is another option in the Bucks’ feared frontline.