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Visiting St Andrews have scored 14 goals in their last two games

Bourne boss Rob Middleton is demanding an improved start from his charges when they welcome in-form St Andrews to the Abbey Lawn on Saturday.

The Leicestershire side have scored 14 goals in their last two United Counties League Division One games after following up a seven-goal blitz at Long Buckby by blasting a similar amount at home to Birstall last Saturday.

They also hit four goals without reply in a home win over Aylestone Park earlier this month and are now just two places behind the 11th-placed Wakes in the league table.

Bourne are unbeaten in their last four league games following a 5-3 away success at Huntingdon Town on Saturday.

Wakes boss Rob Middleton. (6755272)
Wakes boss Rob Middleton. (6755272)

But Middleton is warning his side that they will have to be better in the first half of the contest this weekend.

He said: "I was disappointed with the way we started in the first half on Saturday and the goals that we conceded.

"We were fortunate to be 2-2 at half-time and we can't do that again because we will not be lucky twice on the trot.

"We can't afford a first half performance like that against a side who have scored 14 goals in the last two games because we will have a mountain to climb.

"I'll be sending out a strong message that we can't afford to do that again because St Andrews are going well at the moment.

"Whenever we face a side in the bottom half, they always seem to either have a new manager, new signings or have hit form. We never play anybody at the right time.

"They were a young side when we drew with them at the start of the season and, if you've got a side with six or seven really good teenagers in it, then the penny does start to drop.

"They become a bit more wiser and experienced as the season goes on and start improving.

"They were a decent side when we played at their place and it will be another hard, tough game for us like every week.

"We need to be on our mettle. We have been on a good run since Christmas so we want that to continue.

"We're looking to get another three points, but we know it's not going to be easy. If we've got our eyes set on the top half though then these are the games we need to be winning.

"We will respect a side that's scored 14 goals in the last two games, but we'll play our usual game and try and keep the run going."

Reece Driscoll picked up a knock in Saturday's victory at Huntingdon. (6755176)
Reece Driscoll picked up a knock in Saturday's victory at Huntingdon. (6755176)

Bourne do have a number of fitness concerns ahead of the home clash with Middleton hoping that Reece Driscoll, Jake Mason and goalkeeper Ant Murphy will shake off niggles picked up in Saturday's success at Huntingdon.

Max Cooper is away so Kev Elger will be recalled to the first team squad while Pinchbeck loanee Luke Gardner pulled up in the warm-up on Saturday and will be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a groin injury.

Former Wakes reserve team boss Howard Shoebridge passed away this week.

Joint chairman Darren Munton commented: "It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our former reserve team manager Howard Shoebridge sadly passed away on Saturday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Howard's family at this difficult time. RIP H."

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