Donaldson To Miss Three Big Ones
Clayton Donaldson's rush of blood to the head will cost us dear in the hunt for promotion after he was handed a three match ban for violent conduct.
Dono was red carded in the first half of the Bradford match after a scuffle lead to Donaldson and Jon Worthington literally going head-to-head.
The 27 year old, who has 16 goals so far this season, will now miss a series of tough games for the Alex, starting with the trip to face a new look Northampton side on Tuesday evening. The Cobblers have had a busy January transfer window, bringing in three players likely to feature in their starting 11 on Tuesday.
They may have missed out on Calvin Zola, who opted for a move to Burton Albion instead, but they still capitalised on the Congo man's move by snapping up Shaun Harrard, who had netted 13 goals for Burton this season. They've complimented that 'star signing' by bringing in former Southend winger-cum-striker Francis Laurent on a free and the already well travelled 21 year old Watford midfielder Josh Walker on loan.
Donaldson's absence is also bound to be felt on Saturday at Rotherham, who sit one place above us in the table and occupying that 3rd automatic promotion spot. They dispatched Stockport yesterday 4-0 and this weekend's game promises to be a real six pointer.
Donaldson's final game on the sidelines could come with the visit of resurgent Gillingham, who've jumped into 7th place this weekend after a run of two defeats in 11 games since we ran out comfortable winners at Priestfield back in November.
There is of course a free Tuesday before the Gills game in which the Accrington clash could be re-scheduled and if it was up to me I'd be pulling all the stops out to make it happen. Without any disrespect towards Accrington Stanley (they had enough of that over bloomin' milk), I'd rather face them without our top scorer than any of our promotion rivals.
In the meantime Ajay Leitch-Smith will be given a chance to shine and he has previously shown good reason to suggest he could be as prolific as Donaldson in front of goal, he did after all keep the former York man out of the side which drew 5-5 with Chesterfield earlier in the season. Whether his general play is up to scratch is another question but as long as we keep creating the chances we create for Donaldson then Leitch-Smith has enough in him to stick them away.