The roaring Lions are excited about ‘local derby’ at Bretton

Borough's Joe Andresen tries to get his backs moving against Market Harborough.
Borough's Joe Andresen tries to get his backs moving against Market Harborough.

Peterborough Lions will be hoping to make it seven wins in eight games on Saturday when they take on Old Northamptonians at Bretton Park (kick-off 2.15pm).

The city side have recovered well from the three-match losing streak they endured during an injury crisis in October and are once again a major force in National League Division Three.

Coach Darren Fox has got the Lions roaring again and believes he has now got a side capable of beating all opponents in the division - except perhaps runaway leaders Hinckley, who beat the Lions 39-18 in Leicestershire on December 5.

“We are on top of our game and that’s down to the hard work the lads are putting in at training,” said Fox.

“They are growing in confidence with every game and are starting to develop as a squad as well as individuals.

“We know we’re good on our day, but we all know there’s always room for improvement and over the next few weeks we’ll be trying new things, trying to get the players to take the initiative themselves a bit more.

“We were all disappointed that last Saturday’s game at Old Halesonians was called off but we had a cracking night’s training on Tuesday and the players are all excited about playing Old Northamptonians. It’s a home game, a bit of a local derby if you like, and we can’t wait.”

ONs are in the relegation zone and scrapping for points and almost nicked a win when facing the Lions at home in October.

“We only just won 18-17 after having Nico Steenkamp sent off and picking up a few yellow cards,” recalled Fox.

“But we’re a different team now. Our discipline has improved for a start and it’s no coincidence that we win well when keeping 15 players on the pitch for the whole game.

“It will be a tough game, ONs are a hard side to beat. But if we do things right we shouldn’t have a problem.”

Skipper Chris Humphrey is still ruled out, meaning a first start beckons for former Borough skipper Sam Crooks, and full-back De La Rey Veenendaal should return to the squad after injury.

Borough meanwhile face another tough task. In the last two weeks they’ve faced two of the top three sides in Midlands Division Two East (South) - Lutterworth and Market Harborough - and suffered heavy losses.

This Saturday they face a challenging trip to unbeaten table-toppers Melton Mowbray.

Coach Lee Adamson said: “Last week we competed well throughout the match against Market Harborough, but crucially we made too many mistakes at crucial times, and were punished clinically for doing so.

“We need to cut out the number of errors we make and keep the ball better in possession. We also need to defend better and make bigger hits and ensure all first time tackles are made.

“If we do those things consistently there is no reason that we can’t spring a surprise. We travel with no pressure on us and sometimes we perform better in that situation”

Borough will choose their line-up after training tonight but there are several players who could be included in the squad. They include forwards George Hicks and Adam Whiles, and backs George Offer and Rob Jacobs.