Paul Mullin's weekly column

IF there is a plus side of carrying a knock, it has to be getting out of aerobics this week!

Although it's improving, my back's been troubling me for a couple of weeks, so I opted for a workout in the gym instead.

Having said that, all the training we do off the pitch - even aerobics - is geared towards making us a stronger, fitter unit capable of staying in contention for promotion this season.

And that's what helped us to earn a good point at Aldershot on Saturday.

While we had our chances to come away with three points (the keeper's face got in the way of one of my shots), it was one of those games that could have gone either way. But 0-0 was probably a fair result.

We'd have settled for taking four points from Hereford and Aldershot, and it's down to the fact that we've been a lot tighter at the back that we've been able to do that.

Although I felt sorry for Danny Alcock missing out after doing well against Hereford, Carl Ikeme had a good debut in goal on Saturday - his whack in the ribs was a real welcome to the Conference! - and our back four were superb.

Robbie Williams came back in and had a good game at full back, so that's yet more competition for places, which won't do us any harm either.

And in midfield, Andy Procter showed how fit he is by having a good, strong game. To put in a performance like that after only 45 minutes in the reserves is a credit to him and all the work that the physio has done with him behind the scenes.

Scarborough on Saturday is going to be another tough game. We threw the game away there last season but we were going through a spell of giving away stupid goals.

But we're a lot more organised and fitter than we were then, and we'll take a lot of confidence from the Aldershot game.

Plus myself and Lee McEvilly have been working on our sprinting this week, so hopefully we'll see the benefit of that.

If we can get a win, even if it's just 1-0, that will set us up nicely for the cup game.

It's freakish that this round has thrown up the same tie for us as last season.

Leigh at home is a great draw for us, but we've got to concentrate on our bread and butter first and get three points at Scarborough.

Steve Jagielka's facial hair could be worth the trip to the east coast alone!

After sporting a handlebar moustache the other week then looking like a Columbian drug baron last Saturday, who knows what his latest look will be!

Stanley striker's weekly column