BRYAN HUGHES: Frustrating start to festive season

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It has been something of a frustrating Christmas period so far, starting with the defeat at Darlington on Boxing Day.

That was a loss that was hard to take, especially as we had been in good form going into the game.

We wanted to get back on track straight away at Clitheroe on Sunday December 28, but unfortunately that game fell foul of the wintry weather.

The only positive I can take from the Clitheroe game being off was the fact that we had three players on four bookings going into it.

If they had picked up another card then they would have been banned for a game in January.

Fortunately now, all of the yellow cards are quashed from January 1, so we won’t be losing Jimmy Beadle, Ben Middleton and Gary Bradshaw (pictured), which is great news for us because they are all key players.

Personally, I don’t think we played too badly in the the Darlington game, they just played very well.

We didn’t get our passing game going, which I think played into their hands a little.

They are a big club, similar to us.

The fact that they can pull in over 1,000 fans allows them the extra resources.

This means that they can send scouts to watch us and other things like that, which certainly gives them an advantage.

We are now looking to start up another run of form as we head into the New Year.

We have two big games to start with, against Brighouse Town on New Year’s Day and Spennymoor Town on Saturday, and neither of which will be easy.