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Pressure will be on table-toppers at Bourne in battle for the title




Bourne boss Rob Middleton believes Saturday's home clash with table-topping Lutterworth Town will be a chance to check his side's progress this season.

The Wakes host the United Counties League Division One leaders at the JJ Mac Stadium looking to clip the wings of the Swifts' title charge.

Lutterworth currently hold a one-point advantage over second-placed Anstey Nomads in a titanic three-way tussle for the title with Melton Town.

Middleton feels all the pressure will be on the visitors at the weekend as the Wakes look to avenge a 10-2 away defeat at Kong Park in September while maintaining their solid home showings against the division's leading lights.

Tom Cardall (8278613)
Tom Cardall (8278613)

He said: "We have achieved a good draw against Anstey Nomads and Melton Town only beat us with the last kick of the game so we're all looking forward to Saturday. It will be interesting to see where we are at.

"We know it's going to be a big test, but all the pressure is on them and it's chance for us to see where we are at against a side at the top of the table.

"We're under no illusions about the size of the task, but we need to show the right work ethic and have the right mentality.

"We've put a lot of hard work into this season to get where we are. Some teams might be going through the motions for the last four or five games, but I don't want that to happen to us.

"I want us to push on and finish as high up the league as we can. I want us to finish in a good position so that we can improve again next season.

"A number of players have made the step up from the reserves and youth team this season and conveyor belt keeps producing.

"Luke Glover got a taste of being in the first team squad last week while Ollie Troth came on and impressed.

"He did really well in the last 15 minutes. He had high energy, pace and we're keen to push players through our system."

Reece Driscoll (8278611)
Reece Driscoll (8278611)

Bourne go into Saturday's home clash looking to build on last week's 3-1 victory over Rushden & Higham.

After two successive away draws, Bourne bounced back from conceding the opening goal with strikes from Tom Cardall, Dan Smith and Zak Munton sealing their success.

Middleton added: "We are starting to get some consistent partnerships after a few weeks of being without players due to injuries and suspensions.

"Jack Bottreill has got a good partnership going with Rob Dunn in central midfield, Reece Driscoll is back fit which is a real positive while Josh Randall has been doing well on the other wing.

"We looked good last week. I was confident going into the game because we had been really unlucky in the last couple of draws. We just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.

"I took an educated guess to go with Tom Cardall up front because I wanted to play with two up top.

"It proved a good choice. Tom played well up there, scored the equaliser and, from my point of view, I was pleased with the decision.

"I was happy with the overall performance. Rushden are not a bad side. They're quite a handful going forward, but we defended well, worked hard in midfield and Tom and Zak worked well as a partnership up front.

"We had a few more clear-cut chances, but we either blazed them over or put them wide when we should have been hitting the back of the net.

"The penalty was a big moment in the match at 2-1 with Rushden looking to get back into it.

"I never nominate a penalty-taker. Whoever wants it, can have it, but Zak stepped forward and it will have done him the world of good to score after a mini goal drought."

Kev Elgar will be back in contention to return to the Wakes squad this weekend while youngster Ben Moss was being assessed after being substituted through injury last Saturday.

Lewis Russell remains sidelined through injury while Jake Mason serves the last match of his three-game suspension.

Zak Munton (8278609)
Zak Munton (8278609)


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