Town out to avenge last season’s defeat
PETERBOROUGH Town return to the scene of the crime tomorrow when visiting Brixworth in the Northants Premier Division.
The city side were top of the table on the last occasion they made this trip for the penultimate game of last season knowing two wins would have secured a first title since 1996.
But Brixworth picked Town pockets by registering a shock win. Ajaz Akhtar’s men slumped from top to third and that’s where they finished.
“It was a bad day,” Town skipper Akhtar recalled. “We had worked so hard to become favourites to win the league and we blew it.
“To be fair the fact that we started last season so poorly was a bigger reason why we didn’t win the league, but we didn’t have time to recover from this defeat.
“Brixworth played well on the day and they are always a very hard side to beat and I expect tomorrow to be no different, but if we need an incentive to win we only have to remember last season’s match.”
Town again go into the game on top of the table as the Premier Division takes on a familiar look. Northampton Saints, last season’s runners-up, are just a point behind Town in second spot, while reigning champions Finedon are third.
It’s a top three Akhtar doesn’t expect to see change between now and the end of the campaign.
Akhtar added: “The current top three are the best three teams in the division by some distance so I’m sure they will fill the three leading positions at the end of the season.
“The finishing order is harder to predict, but I do know that we will be giving it our best shot in every game. We’ve started much better than last season and now it’s a question of keeping the momentum going.”
Town are the only side in the competition to have won all of their matches unaffected by the weather and they will be keen for that run to continue at Brixworth as they visit Saints the week after.
Town are without seamer Basharat Hussain for tomorrow’s trip. He injured an ankle leading the club’s Rutland League side to victory last Sunday.
Off-spinning all-rounder Matt Milner, who will now assume Town’s Rutland captaincy for Sunday’s trip to Market Overton, has been promoted into the Saturday firsts giving Akhtar four spinners to choose from. Five if Alan Burton’s lobbers are included. Teams: Peterborough Town 1sts (away to Brixworth, Saturday): P. Mcmahon, L. Bruce, A. Akhtar, A. Burton, A. Butt, D. Clarke, J. Smith, A. Rodgers, R. Sayer, C. Budd, M. Milner.
Peterborough Town 1sts (away to Market Overton, Sunday): M. Milner, C. Milner, D. Clarke, A. Burton, R. Sayer, S. Williams, J. Smith, A. Kak, R. Kendall, L. Bruce, A. Rodgers.
THERE’S a Lincs Premier Division derby at The Abbey Lawns tomorrow (12.30pm) when Market Deeping make the short hop to tackle Bourne (12.30pm).
Deeping are currently one place and two points ahead of their local rivals.
CASTOR are averaging 6.7 runs per wicket in their first two Cambs Division One matches. They’ve scored 134 runs for the loss of 20 wickets in defeats at Wisbech and Foxton.
They are back on home turf tomorrow and it’s a massive earlyseason relegation battle as Saffron Walden are the visitors to Port Lane (1pm).
The pair are locked together at the bottom of the table on 23 points.
RULED OUT: Basharat Hussain misses Peterborough Town’s match tomorrow because of injury.