Express & Star

Liam McDonald hails Rushall Olympic's will to beat the drop

Liam McDonald has heaped praise on his Rushall Olympic side, who have the chance to achieve their ‘dream’ tomorrow and secure National League North safety.


McDonald’s side have turned doubters into believers this season, and have recently boosted their survival hopes considerably, winning three games in a row. The Pics put four past Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday to move three points clear of the drop zone.

McDonald’s side visit Southport tomorrow, of a place below them, and the Rushall boss is hoping for an evening of celebrations and to secure at least another season in the division.

He said: “The players have been outstanding and they’ve given the club the opportunity of making their dream at the start of the season a reality.

“We’re on the course to be record breakers for the third season running. Everything is good at the moment and we’re enjoying it.

“It’s a big pressure game on Saturday. Hopefully we can have a joyous afternoon.

“The lads have been working really hard, taking everything on board and understanding mentally that there’s a lot of pressure on us.

“We had to go to some big clubs and get results, and they’ve managed to do that.

“In all three of the wins that we’ve had, there has been no celebration. They’ve been very focused.

“It’s in our hands. We know that if a couple of teams get beat on Saturday then we could be safe, but we are focused. There’s pressure on the game, but not so much for us now.

“We know what we have to do but Southport can’t get beat by us. Because, if they do and some of the teams around them win, then it’ll go down to the last game for them.

“We thrive under pressure and with what’s at stake.”

Holders Rushall will face Leek Town in the Staffordshire Senior Cup final on Tuesday for a repeat of last year’s final.

McDonald would love to go back-to-back in the competition, but safety is his priority, saying: “The league status is more important right now. By staying up in this league, we’re winners anyway. You always want to win a final, but staying up would be so good.

“Can we go out and achieve the unthinkable? Nobody ever thought we would stay up, and the boys are on the verge of doing that. Tuesday at Stoke will be the icing on the cake for us.”

Elsewhere, in the National League, Kidderminster Harriers host Eastleigh while in the Northern Premier League Stafford Rangers visit fellow survival hopefuls Atherton Collieries.

In the Southern Central Premier, Stourbridge travel to St Ives Town and Halesowen Town visit Hitchin Town, while in the Northern One West Hednesford Town host Avro and Chasetown travel to Stalybridge Celtic.

Meanwhile, in the Northern One Midlands, Lye Town welcome Loughborough Dynamo while Walsall Wood entertain Coleshill Town, and Sporting Khalsa visit Corby Town.