A DETERMINATION to prove the naysayers wrong is helping Furness Cavaliers defy the odds in both the West Lancashire League and cup competitions.

Despite losing several key players over the summer, Marc McAloone’s side have proven no less competitive and are currently on a four-game unbeaten run which stretches back to a narrow 2-1 loss to rivals Furness Rovers at the end of September.

That run has kept them within touching distance of the frontrunners in the ultra-competitive West Lancs Division Two, along with progressing to the Lancashire Amateur Cup fourth round.

Cavs’ first-team and reserves squads have been boosted by players returning from injury and suspension too, and manager McAloone is impressed with the approach they have shown in the face of adversity.

“I think it’s all about mentality,” said McAloone. “The boys are working hard and are extremely motivated to want to win.

“I think the club as a whole has a point to prove. In the summer, we lost a few really important players and didn’t replace them, and the word was going around we might struggle this year.

“But we’re all looking to say the boys we’ve got are good enough and if we work hard enough we can beat anyone on our day. We’ve competed in every game and we’re doing all right.

“The whole spirit of the club at the moment is we dig in and do what we can. Competition for places is frightening; we’ve probably got 22 players who really want to play in the first team, which is massive.”

That spirit was summed up for McAloone at the start of September when the reserves made the long trip to Bootle with just 10 players on the same day the first team won 2-1 at home to Kendal United with just one substitute available.

There have been other moments too, like beating Charnock Richard reserves 2-1 having been reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes.

Cavs now face three consecutive cup matches, starting with Charnock Richard at home in the West Lancs Challenge Cup a week tomorrow, and McAloone hopes they can continue their good form when the league resumes

“We’re on a decent run at the moment, and we need to take that and maintain that for the run into the league,” said McAloone.

“We’re in a situation where if we win a couple of games, we’re right back amongst it and that’s massive.

“We’ll get to that when it comes, but at the moment we’re going to focus on these cups and seeing if we can progress there. But as soon as the league comes, we’ll look to try to put another little run together and go from there.”