ACCRINGTON Stanley, whose lead at the top of the Unibond Premier League is looking impregnable, are still looking to strengthen their squad.
Stanley have put seven days' notice on Conference outfit Kettering Town's central defender Mark Haran. Haran, 26, is based in the Barnsley area and joined Kettering at the start of the current campaign after spells earlier in his careeer with Rotherham United, Emley, Hednesford and Eastwood Town. Stanley can speak to their target this Friday after the seven days is up.
Stanley, who travel to Moss Lane tomorrow to take on old foes Altrincham, have also recalled midfielder Steve Flitcroft from a 'loan' spell at Hyde United and, with a busy April in prospect, are also likely to recall Simon Carden from Radcliffe Borough as they gather their forces for the final promotion push.
After beating Blyth Spartans 3-2 at home last Saturday, Stanley have been able to sit back and absorb yet more favourable results which have done their own Conference aspirations no harm whatsoever.
Stalybridge Celtic have dropped five points in two games while Vauxhall Motors lost to bottom-placed Hyde United on Wednesday and now trail by a massive 15 points with just a solitary game in hand.
It would now seem that only second-placed Barrow, 12 points behind from equal games played, could benefit even if Stanley collapse spectacularly in their last 11 games. That seems most unlikely though, particularly as Reds, whose next two games are away from home, have sorted out their away form.
Since losing to Gateshead in January, Reds have won six league games in succession, including their last three away from home. And while trips to Altrincham and Lancaster City, who Stanley visit a week tomorrow, might have been regarded with some trepidation a couple of months ago, Stanley look to have found an extra gear just as their rivals have begun to find the going tough.
Manager John Coleman has no injury or suspension worries ahead of tomorrow's match against Altrincham which is the first meeting between the sides this season.
Last Saturday's match was watched by another four-figure crowd, 1,116, the 10th occasion Stanley have drawn more than a thousand for a league match this season.
- See this week's Observer for John Coleman's views