Analysis: Perfect week has AFC Telford United fans dreaming
The week just gone could turn out to be one of the most important of the season for AFC Telford.
Nine points from nine, a signing of intent in the form of Brendon Daniels on a permanent deal. An 18-month deal for fans’ favourite Marcus Dinanga, and all topped off by a solid win against a promotion rival.
It is starting to become a reality for Telford fans now, the dream that has chipped away in the back of their minds ever since they soared up the table back in August and September.
The wins against Nuneaton and Spennymoor underline what Telford now have – a will to keep going, to grind out wins and strength in depth.
There was a gasp around the New Bucks Head when the team news emerged, and with it five changes.
The likes of Andy Wycherley, Dom Smith and Amari Morgan-Smith would have been annoyed at being left out, considering their form.
But those who came in, the likes of Dinanga and Shane Sutton, show how strong the Bucks are right now. At home, they are expected to win, they are expected to begin on the front foot.
They did that and got in front just before the half-hour mark.
After Daniel Udoh, who ran himself into the ground yet again, had been denied, Daniels jinked into the box and was taken down.
He got up and smashed the spot-kick home with aplomb.
Daniels is going to be key in this stretch of the campaign, he is a flair player that many sides in the division just don’t have.
The best thing for Telford is that he isn’t the only one.
Henry Cowans was impressive on his return, Dinanga displayed flashes of what he showed last season, and there are many others.
Chances came at the end of the half and the hosts were guilty of not really adding a second which would have probably closed the game after 45 minutes.
Spennymoor, however, were fifth and had the league’s top scorer Glen Taylor in their armoury.
After Cowans had lost the ball, the Moors broke and Taylor lifted the ball over the goalkeeper to draw the game level.
After a spell where the visitors were on top, Spennymoor were all of a sudden pegged back. Telford turned the screw again, and another one of those flair men, Darryl Knights, curled one in from 18 yards to restore the lead.
From then Telford kept their visitors at arms length, but for one moment of note.
Taylor met a cross with a half volley and he hit it in the sweet spot.
But new on-loan goalkeeper Josef Bursik, hardly troubled all afternoon, got down low to push the ball away to safety.
There were a couple of late balls into the box, but it was nothing the Bucks couldn’t handle.
It makes it four wins from four for the Bucks, who are now five points clear of Blyth in eighth.
This felt like a sign of things ramping up at the New Bucks Head.
Fans have long been hoping their side can keep the form up and keep in the play-off places.
Boss Gavin Cowan has been tight lipped on the matter all season, but even he insisted they are looking at targets now.
He only went as far as to say top 10, but you can sense he is looking higher.
And there is no question about it, after three wins and two marquee signings in a week, the club want and believe they can get promotion.