Matt Potter makes North West Counties promise as AFC Liverpool look to end unwanted Barnoldswick Town record

AFC Liverpool celebrate vs Vauxhall Motors

AFC Liverpool manager Matt Potter insists that they are taking it game-by-game after beating Vauxhall Motors 4-2.

The win for the Non-League Reds meant they head into 2023 in good form after picking up straight victories against the Isle of Man before capping the year with a triumph over the league leaders.

They are eight points off the pace but sit just five off of Wythenshawe Town – who sit in the promotion playoff spot.

Fisnik Hajdari, Luke Stephens, Jesse Dowling and Tom Douglas were all on target in their Boxing Day win.

Speaking to Off The Park, Potter said: “[It was a] Brilliant win, going into Christmas they were top of the tree coming into it and Wythenshawe Town were snapping at their heels so they were going to need the points to push on but for us, it was nice way to finish the year, we had a few lads missing.

“We have a lot of injuries going on at the minute, going a goal behind was disappointing and to go 3-1 up was good then towards the end they got one back, it could’ve went the other way but it was nice that Dougie got that fourth and got back to that scoring ways.

“He was on a bit of a drought and got back to scoring ways so it’s a really good way to finish the first-half of the calendar year and kick on.”

Following the break, a quickfire double saw them take a two-goal lead early on. Something which has become a feature of their triumphs this season.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from,” he added. “I don’t know whether we score and just seem to get confidence or more cut-throat.

“A lot of the time, you go a goal up and the stats say you’re most vulnerable to concede so it’s nice to score one and kick on, get that momentum.

“It’s pleasing when we play with that freedom going forward and try make sure we’re defensively solid, the highlight was that we didn’t concede from open play, to concede off two corners is something we can address but in open play we were quite solid which helps us because we scored them goals when we need to.”

As 2023 is brought in, it marks the second half of the season and the business end. For AFC Liverpool, it’s a marked improvement from where they were 12 months ago as they sat in midtable.

Whilst they exceed expectations and are in the conversation for promotion, Potter has moved to cool the expectations and is looking to learn from their midseason troubles which derailed their hopes momentarily.

The AFC boss continued: “We just take each game as it comes, last season we just wanted to beat that target and that was everything in terms of the league, [FA] Vase and competitions we were in.

“In November, we probably looked too much into the league table and planning ahead a bit too much then there was a lot of if, buts and maybes that came into it and I think it takes the focus away from the games you need to play.

“We go game by game in terms of the league then when we get to March, we’ll have a little bit of a look and assess where we are.

“If we’re still amongst it that’ll be pleasing but we’re not setting a target of where we want to finish, we’re going to continue enjoying the football we’ve been playing because results, the way the first half has been going it’s been very good.

“Away from league tables, that’s what we want to keep aspiring to that making each game is a positive one and positive results and we’ll see where we are come the end of it.”

On Monday, they travel to Barnoldswick, a team they beat 3-0 in the corresponding fixture but they will be looking to achieve something they’ve never done in their history – win at Greenberfield Lane.

In their 18 meetings, Barnoldswick have won 10 to AFC Liverpool’s four but all of them wins have come at Rossett Park for the Reds.

“We won’t take the game for granted, I know the history books and what I seen with Ando, I don’t think we ever beat Barnoldswick so that will give us some motivation to change some history, break a curse or a duck. We’ll go in with the best approach that we can.”

[Featured image: Dave Williams]

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