DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Matt Taylor and Ahlen are in desperate need of all three points on Wednesday evening when they host Jahn Regensburg.
A disappointing season and three-point penalty from the league due to financial problems has left Ahlen on the verge of a potentially-disastrous second straight relegation back to the Regionalliga.
With five games left in the season, they are three points deep in the relegation zone, trailing both Wacker Burghausen and VfR Aalen by three points and goal differential, putting the onus on them to start pulling out victories before it's too late.
If recent weeks have been anything to go by, Ahlen are in for a tough ride, as they have lost four of five, most recently a lifeless 3-0 collapse to Wiesbaden.
The team - and Taylor - will look to the previous meeting between the two clubs as a bit of encouragement, as they came out 2-1 victors in November, with the American striker having netted the late winning goal.
Their Bavarian opponents have been virtually impossible to beat in recent weeks, albeit in the most unspectacular of ways. A run of seven games without a loss includes a total of five draws, four of them scoreless, however they did manage to get a rare win in their last outing over the weekend against Stuttgart II.
In addition to midfielders Tobias Zellner, Tobias Schlauderer and Andi Schäffer as well as defender Mersad Selimbegovic who are all out for the long haul, Regensburg will also be missing defender Stefan Binder due to a pulled muscle and leading scorer Tobi Schweinsteiger due to a yellow card suspension.
Ahlen look to have a fully healthy squad to choose from.