In-form sides clash at the Abbey Lawn on Saturday
Bourne Town are hoping to shrug off an injury crisis in their defensive ranks as they look to continue their good league form on Saturday.
The Wakes have lost just once in their last seven United Counties League Division One games and impressed on Wednesday night in a battling Lincolnshire Senior Trophy defeat to higher level Deeping Rangers.
However, defensive duo Max Cooper and Dan Smith were both forced off injured on Wednesday night and face a fight to be fit for the home match with Sileby Rangers on Saturday.
Cooper came off at half-time with a hamstring injury while Smith took a knock near the end which forced him to be replaced.
Manager Rob Middleton commented: “We’re taking a couple of casualties from a midweek cup game into Saturday.
“Max and Dan are both struggling so we've got to get an ice bath and a rub on them and fingers crossed they'll be alright for Saturday.
“It’s your two centre-halves for starters so we've got to hope they'll be fit for Saturday.
"It might be a problem, but we've got to let their bodies cool down and see how they are.”
Sileby arrive at the Abbey Lawn on the back of a five-match winning streak with returning striker Leon Lobjoit scoring eight goals in the last four games.
The Wakes will welcome back midfielder Craig Rook and 19-goal top scorer Zak Munton who both missed the midweek cup clash.
Munton netted the winner for the Wakes in their 3-2 success at Thrapston last weekend as they battled back from conceding two goals inside the opening 18 minutes with Jake Mason scoring twice in three minutes at the end of the first half.
Middleton added: “It will be another tough game against Sileby, but we have earned the right with our performances recently.
"We earned the right to go and give it another go on Saturday with what we've done previously.
"It's going well at the moment, but the hardest thing is keeping everybody happy because the squad size is decent. It's keeping everybody on board with that.
"There were two or three lads who had been sitting on the bench recently and they've had a start on Wednesday night and they've gone and done it against a side a level above.
"Saturday will be a different kettle of fish again. We've got to scrub ourselves down a bit and find out what the injury situation is.”
Middleton admitted to being ‘over the moon’ with his side’s performance against Deeping on Wednesday as they were sunk by a solitary second half strike by their Premier Division visitors after a battling Bourne display.
He felt the performance highlighted the progress of his side who had been beaten 7-0 at home by Pinchbeck United in their last encounter with top flight opposition two months ago.
Middleton said: “I was over the moon with the performance.
"We had two key players missing in Zak Munton and Craig Rook and, maybe if they had played, we would have got something out of the game.
"We've come a long way in a short space of time from where we were against Pinchbeck to where we are now.
"I didn't think we got many decisions on the night. There were a lot of arms and shoves in the back that went unpunished and they all build up over a period of time when you're not getting your little free-kicks that you feel you should be.
"But I thought my lads were tremendous. All the performances have been good recently. I was confident we were going to put up a good show against Deeping.
"The spirit is good at the minute. The system is working well and everybody is understanding their roles.
"If we had played Deeping a few weeks ago then we'd probably have gone five at the back, but we're sticking at what we know now regardless of who we are playing against.”