Pre- Match Preview
With the race for promotion tighter than ever before in Division 1, few games come close to the importance of this weekend’s tie, that sees second place Pinchbeck United host sixth place Lutterworth Athletic. With only 1 point separating the 2 sides, 3 points could be absolutely pivotal for either side in their push for promotion.
We spoke to both managers about this weekend’s fixture, here’s what Pinchbeck United manager Ian Dunn had to say.
UCL: First season for Pinchbeck in the UCL, how have the club found it so far?
Ian Dunn: I think it’s definitely been a learning curve for the club, but we have experience at this level, me and my assistant both know this level well and we have a few players with knowledge of this league, so that has obviously been helpful. It’s been tough, but it’s nice to be 2nd.
UCL: You currently sit second in the league, what do you believe are the key reasons behind your sides success so far?
Ian Dunn: I would like to say consistency, but we’ve not had the same side out 2 weeks running as of yet, saying that we have definitely utilized a big squad, non-league players commitment levels aren’t the same as what they used to be, so a bigger squad allows us to chop and change, especially when we have about 20 players all of a good enough quality, whereas at other clubs with smaller squads, they may end up being forced to bring in players of not the same quality when they are down by a few players, so that is definitely an area where we have done well.
UCL: After a good start, what is your aim for the end of the season?
Ian Dunn: We would love to be up there in the mix for promotion, but it’s hard to see that far ahead. As a club it’s our first season at this level, and although it sounds quite cliché we just have to take it game by game, take each game as it comes, try and come away with the 3 points and we’ll see where it takes us at the end of the season.
UCL: What are you expecting from Lutterworth Athletic this weekend?
Ian Dunn: Similar to a few weeks ago when we won 3-2, we had to work hard and soak up pressure, we used the ball well last time, we have to try and stop them playing, take our chances and limit theirs.
UCL: With Lutterworth Athletic being 1 of 4 clubs to be within at least 1 point of you, how crucial do you believe this match is in the race for promotion?
Ian Dunn: Very important, it’s always good to beat the teams around you, obviously you still have to win your other games, but the games against teams around you can be what make or break your season so its definitely an important game. It was huge for us when we beat Blackstones, so winning this one would be great, it keeps a gap between us and them and with Raunds Town not playing in the league this weekend it gives us a chance to narrow the gap to just 1 point with them.
We also spoke to Lutterworth Athletic manager Mick English about his thoughts ahead of this weekend’s game.
UCL: With your side currently sixth in the league, how do you feel your season has gone so far?
Mick English: We’re doing ok, we’ve dropped a few points we shouldn’t of, we were disappointed to lose at Pinchbeck the other week. I believe we should have got a least a point, but it’s going ok, another tough game this weekend, we’ve got a few players out so we might be a bit stretched.
UCL: What do you believe your key strengths are as a squad that could play a pivotal part this weekend?
Mick English: They are a well-coached, highly motivated group. They are young and hungry, we will probably field a squad with an average age of about 20/21 so they’re a very young group.
UCL: What are you aiming to achieve come the end of the season?
Mick English: We would like to achieve promotion, we feel it’s important for the club to take it to the next level.
UCL: What are you expecting to face from Pinchbeck this weekend?
Mick English: It will be a tough game, they’ve got a bit more experience than us, well disciplined, well coached. We’ve got to show them respect, but not too much, they did a good job on us at our place, so it’s up to us to return the favour.
UCL: With only 1 point separating you and second place Pinchbeck, how important could this game be in the battle for promotion?
Mick English: It would be massive for us, especially as the away side. Not many clubs go there and win so it would be a huge 3 points.
It promises to be a great game this weekend, with 2 teams eager to keep up their hunt for promotion, and a game that could play a pivotal part come the end of the season. For anyone interested in attending, here are the details of the game:
21st October 2017
15:00 Kick Off
UCL Division One
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, Winfrey Avenue, Spalding, PE11 1DA