FOOTBALL: ‘Biggest game of the season’
Bourne Town face Holbeach United at Abbey Lawn in the Lincolnshire FA Senior Trophy semi-final tonight.
The southern section winners will play cup holders Cleethorpes Town – who beat Deeping Rangers at the end of last season – or Grimsby Borough in the final held at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank.
Seb Hayes is celebrating his first anniversary as the Tigers’ boss after moving into second spot in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division.
Will Bird’s second-half hat-trick sealed a 6-0 win at Whitworth on Saturday.
But Hayes insists Holbeach must take nothing for granted at Division One mid-table side Bourne.
He said: “This is the biggest game of the season for us.
“I’ve heard a few people suggesting that we will take Bourne lightly.
“But you can’t afford to do that in a cup semi-final away from home.
“It’s a massive game and we spoke about it immediately after Saturday’s win.
“At the start of the season, we identified these knockout competitions as our best chance of success.
We’ve done the hard work getting through to the semi-final so we can enjoy it. There is no pressure on our lads.
“We want to play in the cup final so we will show plenty of respect to Bourne.
“It doesn’t matter how we win this game but Holbeach haven’t reached the final for quite a while.
“Bourne are a different side at home and we were poor in the first half last midweek at Harrowby United in another cup game.
“You can’t afford to put in a performance for 65 or 70 minutes.
“We’ve got to be playing well for 80 minutes and keep working harder even in the other 10 minutes.”
Luke Avis is cup-tied and Joe Smith serves a one-match suspension.
Meanwhile, Bourne are aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to Huntingdon Town.
Joint manager Jimmy McDonnell said: “We need a reaction in a massive game tonight.
“If we put in the level of performance which we gave on Saturday, it will be a cricket score.
“Holbeach are massive favourites and I’d put them in the same category as Wisbech Town who knocked us out of the FA Vase.
“We’ve done the hard work getting through to the semi-final so we can enjoy it. There is no pressure on our lads.
“We need to be at our very best, hope Holbeach have an off night and come off the pitch with no regrets. We can’t ask for any more than giving it absolutely everything.”
Eddie McDonald is again ruled out for the Wakes.