So will Gunnar Neilsen’s unfortunate injury open the door for Chris Maxwell? He was lined up for a shot in the team before Neilsen arrived, only to be folied by a training ground injury, and Connah’s Quay will testify to his ability, as they’ve found things tough since he returned to The Racecourse at the end of his loan.
I’d assumed for a while that, once there was nothing left to play for, Maxwell would get his chance. However, I wonder if the timing is exactly what Saunders would have wanted. Altrincham might not offer anything out of the ordinary, but should Maxwell be forced to deal with Exodis Geohaghan’s long throws next Saturday at Kettering?
Caution would be understandable as our recent history is littered with keepers who looked promising but didn’t develop as we’d hoped, possibly because they didn’t cope with being exposed in the first team before they were ready. Off the top of my head, I can think of Michael Jones, Kristian Rogers, Dave Walsh, Paul Whitfield and Mark Cartwright. I could even go back to Stuart Parker-we’re a goalkeeper’s graveyard!
Of course there are experienced options available in Gavin Ward and Anthony Williams should Saunders play it conservatively, but I hope he gives Maxwell his chance. After all, Saunders has, I’m sure seen all he needs of his two experienced keepers to have made his mind up about them, and is there any guarantee they’d deal any better with Kettering’s aerial assault?