Daventry Town remain word perfect in the Southern League at Communications Park this season, but a poor run of away form is threatening to undermine the Purple Army’s promotion bid.
Another six goals without reply against Aylesbury and Northwood over the Christmas holiday period meant that, like Manchester City, Town have won all 10 league matches on home soil.
Despite rising to the occasion at Chesterfield in the first round of the FA Cup in early December, Town have taken only two points recently from a possible 15 on foreign territory.
Defeats at the hands of fellow promotion challengers Dunstable Town, Slough Town and Rugby Town have been interspersed by less-than-convincing 1-1 draws at both St Ives and Chalfont St Peter.
Manager Darran Foster is well aware of the situation, and said: “We now face a trio of away games against teams in the bottom half of the Central Division table.
“We need to win all three as bottom-of-the-table Ashford Town and Potters Bar have conceded a total of more than 100 league goals already this season.
“As for Egham we have beaten them already at home by a convincing 2-0 margin.
“Going to places like Slough (Beaconsfield) and Rugby can be difficult as they have large numbers of very vocal supporters, but apart from Kettering none of the other clubs in this league are particularly well supported.”
Defensively Daventry are almost impregnable at home with only four goals conceded in 10 games - a non-League record bettered only by Skrill Conference championship challengers Cambridge United.
This defensive dominance was further emphasised by the 4-0 and 2-0 wins over Aylesbury and Northwood at Christmas, in contrast to the sloppiness at the back which allowed David Kolodynski to score two winning goals at Rugby on Boxing Day.
Josh O’Grady’s second coming has boosted the attacking midfield area at a time when Neil King and Chris Murphy have both departed. The latter has found work outside the locality.
King’s withdrawal though was distinctly lacking in Christmas spirit.
Finding himself on the substitutes bench against Aylesbury after a run of eight matches in the starting line-up, the ex-Woodford man shook hands with all his colleagues and promptly walked out.
Nothing could be done about that, but the loaning of Joe Henderson to Rushden and Diamonds looks more problematical as Guy Sanders is injured again and Kyle Cartwright is out of action for the entire season.
That leaves no adequate cover for Liam Dolman and Marcel Simpson in central defence at a time when the fixtures will keep coming thick and fast as the Town play catch-up in 2014.
Dunstable finally dropped a point at Royston after Christmas, and after the New Year’s Day clash with Kettering was postponed, it is imperative that Daventry take all nine points from the Ashford, Potters Bar and Egham fixtures in order to keep tabs on the halfway mark pacesetters Dunstable and Rugby.