FARNWORTH head into tomorrow’s crunch home game against fourth-placed Horwich without several key players, including captain Simon Booth.

It is untimely for the Lavender Road side who sit third and a single bonus point above their visitors as they look to stretch that gap.

Booth remains hopeful they can get a good result in his absence, but he admits it will be a tough test against a Horwich side who are also in the last four of the Thwaites Hamer Cup.

The skipper said: “It is bad timing for us because we are without a few players including myself.

“I just hope we can scrape a result because after that we don’t have a bad run of fixtures.

“It won’t be easy against Horwich who have been in good form and are level with us in terms of wins.

“They have a decent mix of youth and experience in the team. There is the experience of the likes of David White and Adam Street but there are also promising younger players such as Chris Brownlow, and they have a good professional in Babar Naeem.”

Booth is satisfied with Farnworth’s league form so far, but believes there is room for improvement with the bat.

The bowling attack has been good as illustrated in the averages with both Victor Walcott and Adil Nisar picking up 12 victims apiece.

Chris Wilson, Jason Raynor and Curtis Anderton have also been in the wickets.

Booth added: “Victor and Adil have done brilliantly with the ball but we have so many bowling options.

“That has been our strong point so far and if we can up it in the batting stakes, it will be a boost for us. We are not alone in posting modest scores. The weather has affected the wickets around the league and it is only really Social Circle who have regularly hit big totals.

“The league form has been good on the whole and if we can get a result tomorrow, we can hopefully kick on when we have the missing players back.”

Elsewhere, leaders Farnworth Social Circle host Heaton, and second-placed Bradshaw are also at home to struggling Tonge.

Bottom-placed Eagley entertain Little Lever and Egerton host Kearsley.

Meanwhile, fifth-placed Westhoughton visit Greenmount and just below them, Astley Bridge welcome Walkden to Sharples Park.