STEVE Appleby will be without star striker Chris Bacon for what the Wisbech boss describes as a “massive game” against Brantham Athletic at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium on Saturday.
Second placed Brantham suffered their third defeat of the season against Norwich United last Saturday and are three points ahead of Wisbech who have a game in hand.
Top scorer Bacon is ruled out with a ban for five bookings and Appleby had considered bringing in a new face but has decided to shuffle his pack.
“Chris will be a huge loss. It is not just the goals but his general play as well and he has been like a breath of fresh air in the club this season,” admitted Appleby.
Nick Davey is to continue his loan spell at Yaxley and Appleby said: “I have already promised Nick he can go to Yaxley for a month and so I will go with what we have got and switch things round a bit.
“It is a massive game for us and even more so since they lost on Saturday. We are on a very good run at the moment and the players’ confidence is high so we will be looking to go and win the game.
“We have to play Brantham and Wroxham twice and they are four big games for us and if we can come through those games with good results it will give us a very good chance of winning the title.”
Appleby may play Matt Lunn as a striker or could give the role to Sam Murphy who has played up front before.
Wisbech have now gone 11 games without a defeat since suffering 9-0 at Mildenhall and Appleby believes that defeat helped bring the team together.
“We had been going quite well and then lost at home to Haverhill which I think we should have won, then came the FA Cup defeat against Wroxham.
“I don’t like to make excuses but we had five players missing then and you cannot take on the top teams with all those players missing. Then came the Mildenhall game when we had three players sent off.
“It was three defeats in a row but I did not think we had all of a sudden become a poor team. We had the players and the quality but those defeats hurt them and that brought the players more together.
“They have worked hard as a team putting things right and the run of results has shown that we do have a good squad of players, who are capable of battling it out at the top of the table.”
Appleby has also changed his style of play during that run too and prefers two ball-winning players in the heart of midfield and that is why Paul Jones lost out there to Lewis Thompson and Steven Reid.
“We were very good at going forward but at the same time we were giving away bad goals. I felt we just needed to tighten things up in the middle and unfortunately Paul missed out and has now left to get regular football.
“When a team is winning it is difficult to change the side but I told the players last Tuesday that we will rotate the team a little to give players more time on the pitch and try and keep everyone happy.
“We do need a squad of 15-16 players and we will see about replacing Paul in the next couple of weeks. But Darren Jimson should be back before Christmas so that will give us another body.”
Simon Ashton is continue his loan spell at Spalding until the end of the season.