Uppingham Town will be looking to keep their league form untarnished this weekend following their first defeat of the season on Saturday in the cup.
Town went down fighting 3-1 in an end-to-end Jelson Homes Senior Cup clash with Friar Lane and Epworth.
The Rutland side are due to play Netherton tomorrow (Saturday) who are also doing well in the Chromasport and Trophies Peterborough League Premier Division, sitting in second place. Uppingham are in third but have two games in hand.
Town manager Richard Kendrick says it will be another real test of what his side are capable of this season.
He said: “It’s a big game already this year and personally I’m looking forward to it and I hope everybody is up for it as well.
“We’ve got to think positively. We’ve got a couple of players off to a wedding so we will have to make some changes and perhaps set up a little differently.”
On Saturday, Friar Lane, who are second in the Leicestershire Senior League, took the lead early on as Uppingham left themselves open at the back.
And only due to Friar Lane’s poor finishing did the score stay that way.
Towards the end of the half, Uppingham regained their composure and Andy Sayers thundered a superb free-kick into the home side’s goal to equalise.
In the second half it was end-to-end action as both sides had good chances but failed to find the net. Martin Turricki came close twice but hit the bar and had one headed off the goal-line.
Then in the 83rd minute Friar Lane scrambled a goal home to make it 2-1.
That forced Town’s hand and as they played higher up the field in search of another equaliser, Friar Lane hit on the counter-attack to seal the victory.
Kendrick said: “It was anybody’s game in the second half and we had some efforts cleared off the line. Once they got the second goal we were a bit open to the sucker punch. It was a good cup game.
“One or two people had one of their better games they’ve had for a while but it was just those first 20 to 25 minutes when we didn’t start very well.”
Of their first loss of the season, Kendrick said they just have to put it behind them and, if they can’t, they aren’t going to do anything this season.
The first team manager also praised Uppingham Town Reserves who beat Croxton Kerrial 4-3 in the Saturday Trophy with goals coming from Omar Elkashoty (2), Rob Lawrie and Ryan Waller.
Kendrick said: “Manager Craig Guest and skipper Matt Hill are doing a good job with the youngsters. Croxton are a decent side and that was a good result.
“We’ve got to develop the Reserves as some of the first team players have worked their way up from the Reserves and we are reaping the benefits of that now.”
Uppingham (v Friar Lane and Epworth): Martin Bennett, Mark Dimeeh, Rob Forster, Tom Hubbard, David Laughton, Jacob Norton, Callum O’Berg, Andrew Sayers, Will Thomas, Martin Turiccki. Subs: James Binley, Jonathan Forster.