Stamford AFC host Newcastle Town at the Zeeco Stadium in BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division clash
Manager Graham Drury has warned his high-flying Stamford side that league positions will count for nothing when bottom-of-the-table Newcastle Town visit the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday.
Second-placed Stamford are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in the BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division.
They are the joint second highest goalscorers in the division and could go top of the table with victory on Saturday if current league leaders Carlton Town fail to beat Loughborough Dynamo.
Drury feels their run of form is worthy of a strong show of Stamford support for Saturday’s crunch clash, but insists his players won’t be under-estimating their Staffordshire visitors.
Newcastle – who are managed by former Port Vale, Derby and Barnsley player Robin van der Laan – have won just two of their 14 league games so far this season.
But they recently held fourth-placed Leek Town and also picked up a point against an unbeaten Belper side who mounting a strong challenge for honours.
Drury said: “People will obviously look at the league table, but Newcastle are a really good outfit.
“They’ve got full-time academy students who will be well organised and really fit so we’ve got to get amongst them.
“We’ve got to be full of energy again. They like to play good football so we’ve got to get a really good press on the ball.
“We need to forget the league table because it should be an interesting game and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd because the performances of the boys deserve that.”
Stamford go into the match after maintaining their unbeaten away record last weekend with a 2-2 draw at Leek who snatched a late leveller after the Daniels had strong appeals for a second penalty turned down.
Drury added: “It was a fantastic game - a great advert for the league between two good sides who were really going for it.
"We showed great character and I was so proud of the players after being a goal down at half-time.
“The group has really bought into what we’re doing and that’s testament to the lads.
“They’re full of belief and confidence and hopefully we can carry on that form because Saturday’s match will be just as awkward as the Leek game. We can’t be going into it expecting anything less.
"I believe anybody in this league can beat anybody on their day and we can't have that mind-set that they're bottom of the league.”
Drury is expected to have a full-strength squad to choose from with Pearson Mwanyongo set to return after missing last weekend’s match due to illness.
Defender Jack Keeble is also back in contention after playing a couple of games while dual registered with Deeping Rangers who are without a match on Saturday.