By Matt Bishop
Tonight sees Solihull Moors welcome Chester to Damson Park in a big game at the bottom of the National League.
The match was originally scheduled for the opening day of the campaign, but it was postponed in controversial circumstances after the local council advised the ground was not safe.
Since then, both sides have struggled to get going, with Moors suffering five defeats, and both will be hunting for only their second win of the season tonight.
However, Chester boss Jon McCarthy believes his side have been unlucky in their opening seven games, and said: “We’ve got a small squad, we’ll have the smallest squad in the league this year. ”
“If we pick up any injuries it’s more significant to us because of the size of the squad.
“Some of the stuff we’ve had to deal with has been horrendous. Solihull first game, to be without four strikers, to have the situation with Macclesfield the other week.
“We’ve still got our game in hand on Tuesday and that gives us a true reflection of where we’re at.”
Moors will have similar thoughts, and while conceding goals has been a cause for concern this season, Liam McDonald’s men have been boosted by the return of former captain Liam Daly.
The 29-year-old, who has re-joined the club following a short spell at Kidderminster, made his second debut on Saturday at promotion chasing Aldershot, and despite a slender 1-0 defeat, the towering defender nearly helped Moors claim a point, which will give the side confidence this evening.
Boss McDonald said: “I’m sure all supporters will acknowledge that this is a huge signing for us. Before his departure to Kidderminster, Liam was pivotal to my plans and was a massive part of our vision moving forward.
“It was a blow for us when he left. That move hasn’t worked out as Liam would have hoped. It’s been a tough start to the season with the amount of injuries we’ve had, so Liam’s return is a massive shot in the arm.”
Chester, though, will be confident too, after Ross Hannah secured his side a dramatic draw at Torquay on Saturday when he headed home a stoppage time equaliser.
That point means the Blues are three points ahead of their Midlands counterparts, and tonight’s match already feels like a very important game in the bottom four – even at this early stage of the season.