Failing to secure three points on Saturday would represent a missed opportunity for Newmarket Town, according to their boss Kevin Grainger.
With many of the sides around the Jockeys in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division contesting matches in the FA Vase, Grainger feels that gaining maximum points at home to FC Clacton (3pm) will crank up the pressure on those above them.
Should Town take all three points in their clash against the Seasiders, it would see them move up to third in the league table.
“We have tough trips next month away to both Felixstowe and Walton United and Norwich United so it is important that we pick up three points on Saturday to keep us in the mix,” said Grainger. “If we don’t then it is a missed opportunity as regards to a game we have in hand on two of the teams above us.
“To be fair, I have said all along it is not about firing in as many goals as possible, it is about getting the results this year.
“If we do score a few goals on Saturday that is great, but the main thing is to keep a clean sheet and win.”
It will be the second time in the space of seven days the Jockeys have faced the Essex outfit with the two sides meeting at Rush Green Bowl at the weekend.
Despite having centre-forward Ross Paterson sent off inside the opening five-minutes for kicking out at an opposition player, the Jockeys secured all three points thanks to a first-half strike from Richard Chadwick.
“I was disappointed to see Ross get sent off, but I have no complaints with the decision,” said Grainger. “Although we had 10 men for most of the game we kept a good shape and the lads deserved to come away with the win as they worked really hard, particularly in the second half when it really was backs against the wall defending at times.”
In other news, the Jockeys will take to the road for the next round of the Red Insure Thurlow Nunn League Cup.
The defending champions, who beat King’s Lynn Town Reserves 3-1 in the first round, will again face opposition from the league below after being drawn away to Saffron Walden Town.
“I am pleased with the draw as we usually get someone like Kirkley or Felixstowe away,” said Grainger. “Although they are in the division below, it won’t be easy going there as they are playing well and right near the top of the league.”
Having lost 3-1 to Brantham Athletic on Saturday, Mildenhall Town averted their mini-slump in form on Tuesday with a 3-0 win away to basement side Diss Town.
Steve Holder scored twice and Alex Steed once.
Christian Appleford’s side will be back in league action on Saturday when entertaining Hadleigh United (3pm).
Goals from James Tricks and Dan Jeffreys saw Ely City, who are without a game this weekend, fight back from a goal down to claim a 2-1 victory over Gorleston at the Unwin Ground on Saturday.