TEENAGE duo John McAliskey and Gary Harkins will be handed the chance to get Town's promotion charge straight back on track at the McAlpine on Saturday.

Both can expect full League debuts as manager Peter Jackson deals with the suspensions of strikers Andy Booth and Pawel Abbott in the wake of yesterday's disappointing 2-1 defeat by Kidderminster at Aggborough.

Striker McAliskey and loan midfielder Harkins went on in the second half as Town (given magnificent backing from 1,681 fans in the West Midlands) lost to a Wayne Hastwell header and Anthony Lloyd's own goal to have their cushion cut to just two points in third place in the table.

With challengers Torquay facing promoted Doncaster at Plainmoor this weekend, Jackson is confident Town can bounce back and maintain their hold on an automatic promotion slot.

"Losing yesterday was a blow, but it wasn't a critical blow and we will bounce back," said Jackson today.

"For a defence which had conceded only 10 goals in 18 matches, we gave away two silly ones and then we didn't get the ball down and pass it well enough to get behind them.

"It was only in the last 20 minutes that we started to play our best football and I honestly thought we were going to retrieve something from the game, but it wasn't to be our day.

"The important thing now is that we make sure Saturday is our day and we take the full three points from another massive home game against Scunthorpe. Promotion is still very much in our own hands."

Town's team bus was delayed in heavy Bank Holiday traffic on the outskirts of Kidderminster and the team walked the final stretch of the journey to play Jan Molby's side, who are coached by ex-Town wingman Gary Barnett.

"It wasn't ideal, but we are not making any excuses," explained Jackson.

"We didn't play like we can, we didn't pick up the three points and I am bitterly disappointed, but we have achieved a lot this season and we just need to keep it going.

"We will have our heads up again come Saturday, make no mistake, and we will be looking to put this firmly behind us with another home victory."

While Town slipped up, so did most of their chasing rivals.

Torquay moved fourth with their 3-0 win over Oxford while Lincoln and Mansfield both drew - the former at Northampton who are still going strong for the play-offs.

"I thought John McAliskey did well when he went on yesterday and Gary Harkins looked a good player too, so there could well be a chance for the both of them to show what they can do against Scunthorpe and make full debuts," said Jackson, whose Reserves are at home to Preston North End tomorrow (2.00).

"I was disappointed with our front two of Abbott and Booth yesterday, but we still had enough chances at the end of the day to have snatched a point.

Town were today monitoring migraine victim Tony Carss.

Danny Schofield was receiving treatment for an ankle injury and Andy Holdsworth for a knock on his left knee.