Sleaford Town want to be battling leaders Long Eaton at the top end of the table - Ward

Greens want to emulate success of opponents

Jacob Fenton found the net against Long Eaton earlier this season. Photo: Craig Harrison
Jacob Fenton found the net against Long Eaton earlier this season. Photo: Craig Harrison

Sleaford Town will face United Counties League Premier Division North leaders Long Eaton at Eslaforde Park on Saturday.

While the table toppers will be looking to replicate their 4-1 victory over the Greens back in November, Town boss Tom Ward had hoped Long Eaton would be facing a very different side.

But he has since Tweeted his squad are down to the 'bare bones' for this weekend's clash (KO 3pm).

However, manager Ward is confident his side have improved a lot since that defeat at Long Eaton, hopeful that a full squad can climb the table and build foundations for future seasons.

“I think we’ve assembled a settled squad now,” he said.

“People have started to bed in, that’s why results and performances have been getting better and better week on week."

Jacob Fenton netted Town’s consolation in Derbyshire the last time the two sides met, in a contest that Ward saw as closer than the scoreline suggested.

Ward added: “I think, when we played them last time they beat us at their place, but we gave a good account of ourselves.

“We were well and truly in the match, they were just better than us on the day really.

“It was small margins that made the difference overall.

“We want to be fighting at the right end of the league like they do."

Since that defeat to Long Eaton Sleaford have won three of their four league matches, including a 3-1 success in their last home contest against Boston Town - in front of a crowd of 366.

“We broke the (attendance) record against Boston,” Ward continued.

“If the fans keep coming and we can get close to those numbers again it’s great. We want to make those people proud.

“The community side is a big part of what we’re doing.”

Saturday’s scheduled match at Holbeach United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, meaning the Greens have had longer to mull over their 1-0 January 3 defeat to Lincolnshire rivals Deeping Rangers.

“I think it’s not often in recent weeks we’ve lost, so after Deeping it (Holbeach) was a good opportunity to put some points back on the board and get momentum rolling again,” Ward said.

“I think the majority of games in the league were off so realistically it was no surprise, we take it as it comes and move on to Long Eaton.”