Dan Halsey feels that the Mildenhall Fen Tigers will have to seriously under perform if they are to slip up against the Stoke Potters in the second leg of their National League Knock Out Cup quarter-final replay, writes Graham Clark.
The West Row-based outfit, who will use Danny Ayers in place of the absent Connor Mountain at number one, will take a 24-point lead to Loomer Road on Saturday (7pm) as they look to book a place in the semi-finals after crushing the Staffordshire side 57-33 in the opening leg.
“We will do well to throw that lead away. It will be a case of going up there and making sure we try and earn our money,” said Halsey.
“Danny Ayers should not let us down at number one and I will be looking to score half of those 24 points we take as a lead there myself.
“I have full faith in the team that we can win overall. We will try to win the second leg and if we don’t win it, we will make sure we push them close.”
Halsey also hopes that the Fen Tigers can start up another winning sequence at the Mildenhall Stadium when switching their focus back to the National League 24 hours later against the Lakeside Hammers (3pm) after seeing their 11-match unbeaten home run come to an end on Saturday night.
The Fen Tigers tasted defeat for the first time at home since losing to the Birmingham Brummies in September when going down 43-46 in a last-heat decider to the Kent Kings in the National League fixture.
Having trailed for much of the meeting, the hosts appeared to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the final-heat decider with Connor Mountain and Halsey looking on course to follow up their 5-1 in heat 13 with another maximum in the concluding contest.
Emotions, though, turned from joy to despair for the Fen Tigers as Halsey, who was sitting in second at the time, encountered engine problems entering lap three, leaving the Kings pair of Jack Thomas and Ben Hopwood to salvage a 3-3 from the heat and claim victory by three points.
“I was gutted as I thought it was a done deal,” said Halsey.
“It was something to do with the fly wheel. I felt the problem on the lap before it on the start straight.
“I can’t remember a low point like that before. I felt like I let the team down but I know it wasn’t my fault.
“I just remember seeing Kevin (Jolly) and Rob (Henry) in the centre green with their hands on their heads.
“Lakeside on Sunday will be another tough one. Me, Jon (Armstrong), Jordan (Jenkins) and Connor (Mountain) will need to be on it against their big boys.
“I am sure Ben Morley and Paul Hurry will go well but I know they have got a couple of weak links in their side.”
Last night the Fen Tigers were scheduled to face the Birmingham Brummies in the National League.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 43: Connor Mountain 13+1, Jordan Jenkins 6+1, Jon Armstrong 3, Luke Ruddick 4, Dan Halsey 12, Sam Woods 0, Danno Verge 5.
Kent Kings 46: Adam Roynon (g) 4+1, N Stoneman R/R, Ben Hopwood 15+1, Anders Rowe 6+3, Jack Thomas 10, Bradley Andrews 9+1, George Hunter 2+1.