FOOTBALL: Town hopes hinge on must-win duel

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UPPINGHAM Town’s Premier Division status could hinge on Saturday’s match at Whittlesey.

Both sides are flirting with relegation from the Peterborough and District League’s top tier but Whittlesey are two points ahead of Town with matches in hand, and manager Richard Kendrick described Saturday’s tie as a must-win game.

“It’s not a six-pointer,” he said. “It’s a nine-pointer. It’s like a cup final. Anything less than a win will not be good enough.

“It’s a fight between four of us and at the moment the odds are stacked against us.”

Last weekend, Uppingham lost 4-1 at fourth-placed Peterborough Sports after leaving themselves a mountain to climb in the second half.

Sports led 3-0 at the break and although Town pulled one back with a well-worked goal, cracked past the keeper by Omar Elkashoty, the Peterborough side’s late fourth killed off Uppingham’s hopes of taking points from the game.

Kendrick said: “We shot ourselves in the foot. We were two down within 10 minutes of the start and let another in before half-time – but we helped them with all three.

“To be fair they had the first half but we made a bit of a switch at half time and we had them on the ropes in the second half.

“The scoreline looks worse than the reality. We could have got something out of it.”

Elkashoty’s strike rounded off a well-worked move involving Rob Forster and Callum O’Berg, who was one of a trio of Uppingham richly praised by Kendrick this week.

The Uppingham boss described O’Berg, Jake Norton and Jamie Howe as the future of the club, saying: “Their attitude has been excellent. They have come into a struggling side and held their own.

“We have blooded them this season and we have a young side that is developing nicely.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 2pm.

Uppingham: Tom Hubbard, Jake Norton, Tim Lenihan, Martin Bennett, Steve Pridmore, Steve Wallhead, Rob Forster, Callum O’Berg, Dave Laughton, Will Thomas, Jamie Howe (Omar Elkashoty), Kerry Nimmons.

l UPPINGHAM Reserves remain rooted to the foot of Division Three after a 3-2 defeat at home to Peterborough Sports Reserves.

Scott Bryan scored twice for Town, who have six games remaining beginning with the return trip to Peterborough on Saturday.