DEFENDER Billy Sass-Davies (top picture) has been called up for the Wales Under-19 squad and will miss two Colwyn Bay away games in four days, starting at promotion chasing Scarborough Athletic on Saturday.
That game is followed by a crunch fixture at Bay’s fellow play-off hopefuls Colne next Tuesday (7:45pm).
Billy, who turned 18 last month, is currently on loan from Crewe Alexandra and has been selected to travel with the Wales U19 squad for a training camp in Croatia, which will include two games against Croatia next week.
That’s a big blow for manager Alan Morgan, although he reports that front man Danny Bartle will be back in the squad to travel to Scarborough after being sidelined with a knee injury for the last six weeks.
Scarborough saw a ten-match unbeaten run end with a home defeat to promotion hopefuls Bamber Bridge last weekend, but that was a rare blip on their 3G pitch at the new Flamingo Land Stadium where they have lost only twice in 15 league games this season and recently thumped Kendal Town 7-0.
Scarborough also enjoyed a 7-0 win on Wednesday evening this week away to Northern League Division Two side Thornaby, to reach the final of the NorthRiding FA County Cup where they will play Middlesborough Under 23s.
Only current league leaders Hyde United have scored more league goals than Scarborough (71) this season and they have two high-scoring and highly experienced strikers in 30-year-old Michael Coulson (ex-St Johnson, Barnsley, Grimsby Town and York City) who has netted over 30 times in league and cup games so far, and much-travelled James Walshaw, who scored a hat-trick in Wednesday’s cup win, has also been in good scoring form since joining from Farsley Celtic in November.
Alan Morgan is anxious that the game can go ahead, as a postponement would likely mean a long Thursday night trip to the East coast.
It will be the Bay’s first game this season on a 3G pitch, but the manager commented: “I have no problem playing on a 3G pitch and I would rather play on that than on some of the heavy grass pitches that we have been on recently with all the bad weather.”
Other key games on Saturday in the race for play-off places (weather permitting) sees sixth-placed Tadcaster travel to eighth-placed Trafford, while Droylsden are at home to fifth-placed Prescot Cables and seventh-placed Clitheroe are away to Ossett Albion who had a stunning 2-0 win over table-toppers Hyde on Tuesday evening.
Follow the action at Scarborough and Colne via Twitter @ColwynBayFC