Non-league football: Hill sees bright times on horizon for Kidsgrove
MIDFIELDER Ashley Hill believes that things are on the up at the Kidsgrove Athletic after back-to-back victories propelled the club away from the relegation zone.
The former Vale apprentice played a key role in both the 4-1 victory over Newcastle Town last midweek and the 5-3 win against Gresley on Saturday.
He is confident Grove can clock a third win on the trot when they visit Evo-Stik Division One South's bottom side Hucknall Town tomorrow.
"The game against Newcastle gave us the kick-start we needed and Gresley are flying high at the moment so to win against them shows a bit more confident," he said.
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"The work rate and endeavour was phenomenal, so it should stand us in good stead to push on now.
"With the confidence being high, we all believe we can come back from Hucknall with the three points."
John Johnston, Grove's 18-year-old winger, has been key to their form, following up a brace against Castle with another goal against Gresley.
Hill added: "He's a great lad to have around and has worked hard in training to get his place in the starting line-up."
LEEK TOWN striker Dan Cope is relishing the competition for places in attack as he prepares to make his first league start of the campaign.
Cope has been out with a knee injury since pre-season, but has built up fitness playing in central midfield for Blues' reserves in the Staffs Senior County League.
He is now battling with Tim Grice, Matt Haddrell and Peter Wright for a starting berth as Town host promotion hopefuls Sutton Coldfield tomorrow.
He said: "I feel fit enough and I'm glad to be back.
"There are four strikers competing to start and it keeps us on our toes."
Cope, below, is joined in the tomorrow's squad by midfielder Adam Roberts, a loan signing from Macclesfield at the end of last season who has now joined permanently.
The pair will help fourth-bottom Leek concentrate on climbing the table now they have exited the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Staffs Senior Cup.
Winning games in hand would catapult Lee Casswell's side into the play-off zone.
Cope said: "We've had good cup runs, but we need to get points on the board.
"We know in this league anyone can beat anyone, but we'll try to put a consistent run together."
NEWCASTLE TOWN will include 16-year-old striker Callum Kenny in their squad at home to Loughborough Dynamo.
He boasts a prolific scoring record in junior football – helping Castle win the Sentinel Shield in May – and was handed his senior debut 12 minutes from time in a 2-0 Staffs Senior Cup defeat to Chasetown on Tuesday.
His promotion – and that of youth winger Josh Gordon – is partly due to manager John Diskin having six key players missing,
But Diskin added: "We had eight first teamers missing on Tuesday, but gave a good account of ourselves.
"We've got one or two very talented lads in our youth team and I'm keen to give them a chance."
Kyle Diskin (knee), Andy Nicholls (unavailable), Leighton Wint (shoulder), Christian Millar (ankle), Aaron Carter (knee) and Andy Bratt (ankle) are all out.