Ravens could secure league safety if they take maximum points
A potentially pivotal double-header of games awaits FC Isle of Man this weekend as they face two matches in two days away from home in the NWCFL Premier Division.
The Ravens head to Merseyside on Saturday (1 April) to face Lower Breck before facing Longridge Town on Sunday (2 April).
If the Manx side were to win both games, they would mathematically secure safety in the league and avoid relegation with three games to spare.
Alternatively, FC Isle of Man would also guarantee safety if they win on Saturday against Lower Breck and Burscough were to lose their clash with Ashton Athletic on the same day (1 April).
However, FC Isle of Man interim manager, Paul Jones, is playing that down and explains the challenges of contesting two games less than 24 hours apart:
Going into this weekend, FC Isle of Man sit 19th in the NWCFL Premier Division standings, ten points clear of Burscough in the second remaining relegation slot in 21st with both having played 37 games.
But the Island outfit face a stern test to take maximum points this weekend against two sides they've already tasted defeat against during the campaign.
Lower Breck inflicted a narrow 1-0 defeat on the Ravens at The Bowl on the opening game of the season on 30 July, 2022, but FC Isle of Man got some redemption on 24 September against the same side in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round by beating the Merseysiders 3-1, also on home soil.
Meanwhile, the Ravens were on the end of a sobering home loss to Sunday's opponents, Longridge Town, only two weeks ago where the Ravens cruised into a 3-1 first-half lead only to be blown away by a remarkable Longridge Town comeback with the Lancashire club eventually winning 3-5.
Furthermore, Longridge Town are in an imperious run of form, recording four straight wins in their last four outings.
Lower Breck vs FC Isle of Man takes place at the Anfield Sports Community Centre on Saturday, 1 April, kicking-off at 3pm
Meanwhile, Longridge Town vs FC Isle of Man will be held on the following day - Sunday, 2 April - at The Recycling Lives Ground, getting underway at 1.45pm.
FC Isle of Man team news
With the challenge of two games in two days, Paul Jones names a 22-man squad to boost options in all areas ahead of what will be a challenging test of fitness.
After making his return for the Island squad last weekend, Chris Cannell remains in the setup whilst the younger options of Tom Creer, Jack Higgins and Lewis Roberts also come in to add to the squad depth
FC Isle of Man squad vs Lower Breck & Longridge Town
Sam Baines, Ryan Burns, Chris Cannell, Karl Clark, Jamie Corlett, Tom Creer, Jacob Crook, Sean Doyle, Tiernan Garvey, Charlie Higgins, Jack Higgins, Frank Jones, Dean Kearns, Alex Maitland, Ronan McDonnell, Jack McVey, Matt Quirk, Lewis Roberts, Tom Shimmin, Kyle Watson, Ste Whitley, Michael Williams