To steal the famous words of Lord Kitchener, “Your football club needs you”. Saturday’s game sees the dictionary definition of a 6 pointer. 19th plays 18th and a win either way moves that club a little way from the relegation trap door while a defeat could see the loser dropping into the bottom 3. The battle to avoid relegation is getting tougher as some of the clubs (including ourselves) have picked up points recently meaning that only 3 points separate the battling teams up to 14th placed Witton Albion, and in theory any one in the bottom half of the table must be casting a look over their shoulder at the relegation battle. That is why your support is much needed to ensure the run in the league that Andy and Alex have put together continues. Obviously, we must discount our reverse on Tuesday as we bowed out of the Integro Cup.

On their travels in the league Lancaster have picked up 4 wins, at Buxton, Grantham, Hednesford and North Ferriby and gained a recent 1-1 at Warrington with Warrington equalising very late. They have picked up points recently too winning 8 points from a possible 15 in January and are unbeaten since their last defeat on New Year’s Day, so you could argue that they have picked up 8 points from the last 12 on offer. This is a complete reversal of form when you consider they lost their first 4 games of the season and it took to the last game of September to register their first league win. Therefore, this Lancaster team cannot be taken lightly as we look to improve on our 0-0 draw back at Giant Axe last November.

While we need to take that into account, we should not forget that Andy and Alex are trying to build on our own run to safety and apart from the Integro game, they have yet to taste defeat in the league with two draws and a win, the most recent two games seeing then come away from a demolition act on Grantham to beat them 5-0 and a well-earned point with a 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Gainsborough. Following on from those two good away performances we need to start making Marston Road a fortress and with your support we can start this process on Saturday. We need to be aware of three other games on Saturday that could be significant in movement in the lower half. Grantham entertain Workington, Marine play Scarborough and we hope South Shields can go home from Mickleover with a win to keep Mickleover in the bottom 3. I forecast many similar weekends to come as the season draws to a close.

Games played on February 2nd this century.

2002      Welling                H            2-1         Southern League

2008      Tamworth           H            2-2         FA Trophy round 3 (lost the replay 1-2)

2013      Ilkeston                A             2-0         Northern Premier League