VICE-CHAIRMAN Paul Oakes believes Fairfield VIlla have finally turned a corner.
However, he says the club have been dealt a ‘slap in the face’ with the number of unavailabilities for Saturday’s Presidents Cup clash at high-flying NKF Burbage.
Brad Smith (hamstring), Ben Smith (foot), Pete Jenvey (knee), Jarred Hill (hamstring) and Alex Dugmore (shoulder) are all sidelined while a couple of players are missing through work commitments.
But Oakes told the Standard that Fairfield still have a strong enough squad to begin the defence of their cup crown.
“Ironically this time last year I was thinking how tough our cup game against Paget Rangers would be but we managed to get through it,” he said.
“We then beat Coton Green before overcoming Alvis in the final so we certainly had to do it the hard way.
“And it looks like it will be that way again because whoever wins will have to face Smithswood Firs who are a very good outfit.
“Despite the number of players missing, we certainly have a good enough starting line-up to go to Burbage and compete.”
Fairfield go into their cup clash on the back of Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Moors Academy in Midland League Division Two.
Dugmore had given the hosts a 32nd-minute lead before substitute Rhys Mason rescued a point for Moors in the second half.
Having beaten Northfield Town 2-0 the week before, Oakes was pleased to see Fairfield claim a valuable point to begin an unbeaten run.
“Moors are one of the best sides we have played this season to have got a point was a good result for us,” he said.
“If we played them a few weeks ago we may have got turned over.
“It was a lovely game of football which was played in the right way and hopefully now we can push on.”