Cracker on the cards but top two clash is ‘ just another game’
The biggest match of the Peterborough League Premier Division season so far has been billed as ‘ just another game’ by rival bosses.
Second- placedNethertonmanager Johnny Byrne and tabletopping Peterborough Sports chief Seamus Morgan are refusing to heap too muchsignificance onaclashbetweentheir teamsatCampbellDriveonSaturday ( 2pm kick- off).
Sports go into their home clash seven points clear of the visitors following a sizzling streak of nine successive wins.
But they have played five more matches than a Netherton side who returned from a five- weeklay- offamidablazeof goals when smashing Oakham United 6- 1 last Saturday.
Not only are the two teams battling for the Premier Division title, theyarealsorivals for promotion after both applied for a rise to Step 6 level next season.
Byrnesaid: “This matchwill almost certainly provide our biggest test so far, but nothing will be decided on Saturday.
“Sports could go 10 points clear with a win while we could get the gap down to four points, but there is still a massive amount of football to be played either way.
“Saturday is only the halfway point in our league season and we can’t afford to think about a possible promotion or worry about what Sports are doing.
“We have to retain full focus in our own performances just as we have done all season. It might sound boring but we need to concentrate on one game at a time.”
Ben Cullen hit a hat- trick as Netherton swept Oakham aside. Skipper Ben Daly, Ash Jackson and youngster Fraser Sturgess scored their other goals in the 6- 1 success. Netherton werefiveupbythebreak.
While that was happening, Sports were easing past struggling Coates 4- 1.
Premier Division leading scorer GaryGibbsstrucktwoof their goals as they maintained their recent momentumahead of what boss Morgan believes could be a ‘ showpiece’ match for Peterborough League foot- ball.
Morgan said: “We’re enjoying an excellent run of results andhopefullythatwillcontinue on Saturday.
“We have built up a decent cushion at the top and our aim is to preserve that at the very least.
“Ourselves and Netherton were involved in a very good game earlier in the season that ended 1- 1 but there is no doubt in my mind that we are a much stronger side now.
“We’ll probably have halfa- dozen different players involved than on that day.
“It is good to see two city teams challenging for the league title and it could be a showpiece match on Saturday.
“Hopefully we’ll get plenty of people come along to watch some of the good football being played in Peterborough.”
Netherton face another big game on Tuesday when they travel to Ramsey for a PFA Senior Cup quarter- final tie.
Netherton’s hat- trick hero Ben Cullen ( front) puts pressure on the Oakham defence.