Sheppey United player-boss Jack Midson hopes his front two can rekindle their early-season form.
Hot-shot Warren Mfula is back after almost two months on the sidelines - making his first appearance since January 7 when he came off the bench in a 2-0 weekend loss at Whitehawk and scoring on Tuesday night.
Mfula headed in a cross from Brad Schafer as he returned to the starting XI but the midweek trip to Three Bridges didn’t go to plan, losing 4-1.
It’s back-to-back losses now for Sheppey after their 10-game unbeaten run in Isthmian South East - form that had lifted them into the play-off mix.
The quality of Mfula and fellow forward Jake Embery could be key to them staying in the hunt and turning the results back around.
Midson’s men return home this Saturday when they host East Grinstead.
Midson said: “Warren’s hunger is back, he is champing at the bit.
"Both he and Jake were firing on all cylinders. They were starting to form a good partnership.
“Hopefully we can get that going again and that will set us in good stead going into the end of the season, to give us that push.
“They will be vital in what we do and, hopefully, we can keep them both fit and hungry. They will be vital in whether we make the play-offs or not.”
Midson’s been playing more than he had hoped to fill the void - having had a knee operation in the summer - but admits he’s been enjoying it. He dropped himself out of the starting line-up on Tuesday for a breather.
He said: “The idea with me was to come in for a couple of weeks and pop back out when they are back. It has just dragged on longer than we hoped.
“I have a massive bruise but you would have to wheel me out before I said I didn’t want to play, every game could be my last. I'm not going to let a balloon-bruised foot put me off.”
Sheppey were guilty of some costly mistakes at Three Bridges. Trailing 2-1, they conceded an 80th-minute penalty and a fourth in stoppage-time.
They weren’t at their best at Whitehawk on Saturday, either.
The Ites went behind to a 27th-minute goal, pushed to get back level, leaving gaps towards the end that were capitalised on as the home side added a late second.
Midson said: “We didn’t really give a good account of ourselves.
“We didn’t go down fighting, a little huff and puff second half.
“With the hill there, it was a game of two halves and where we are going downhill and trying to bang it long, sometimes you are better off taking your time and creating a few better chances because as soon as it goes over the defence, it runs straight through.
“We have been a victim a couple of times of trying to play a team at their own game and, sometimes, you’ve got to stick to your own gameplan and play a bit of football now and again.”
Sheppey are 10th and four points off the play-off places. Weekend visitors East Grinstead are closer to the relegation scrap but Midson knows the table acts as no guide to what awaits.
“It is a crazy league,” he said.
“We were sitting fourth or fifth last week and dropped to 10th in a week.
“It’s very tight. We have a little cushion behind us but we can’t take that gap for granted because there are still some good teams in there and we have to play those teams around us.
“East Grinstead will be a good side, a group of men that will fight.
“Last season (on the way to the Southern Counties East title) was a bit false and you knew you would pop up with a win, but especially recently we had Corinthian and Faversham (teams at the bottom) which we both drew and Chatham and Ramsgate (at the top) which we also drew and had the Burgess Hill win in between.
“It has been a pretty random league and it shows the fine lines in these games which you need to turn into your favour whenever possible. You can’t come off it.”