With no more cup distractions, Ballyclare Comrades can now concentrate on attempting to climb the Championship 1 table, writes George Brown.
Last season at this time manager Eddie Hill inspired a brilliant surge up the Championship 2 table, collecting an amazing 51 points from a possible 57.
Defeats by Lurgan Celtic and Armagh City temporarily stalled their charge en route to the runners-up spot, that clinched promotion behind winners Knockbreda, so the fans are hoping that Eddie has not lost the Midas touch.
When asked if he can do a repeat, Hill was rather coy. “That would be a tall order,” he reckoned, “Let’s just say that as always I will take it one game at a time.
“We have two difficult hurdles ahead of us in the space of a few days against established Championship 1 sides, starting with Larne on Friday evening.
“Inver Park has never been a happy hunting place for us, and they will be chomping at the bit to reverse two recent defeats at Dixon Park, so it won’t be easy.
“New manager David McAlinden has signed well recently, and wins against Distillery and Limavady says it all,” he cautioned.
On Tuesday evening Loughgall will be coming to Dixon Park (7:45 pm) for the first time for several years.
They have appointed a new manager, Brian Adair, who has recruited practically a new team, and they come into it off the back of a very creditable draw against Dergview.
“Next month we face the daunting challenge of playing seven games in 21 days,” he added.