Battling Peterborough North End are confident of a Thurlow Nunn play-off push

Peterborough North End manager Tom Florence believes his side can mount a play-off push in the second half of their first season as a Thurlow Nunn Division One North club.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 1:00 pm
Action from Peterborough North End's 2-2 draw with Downham (red) at the Bee Arena. Photo: David Lowndes.

Florence points to an ability to attract strong local players with relevant playing experience to the club and a strong spirit within the squad as reasons to expect progress.

North End are ninth after last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Downham Town at the Bee Arena (October 9), but just three points off a play-off place, albeit having played more games than most of the teams above them. Teams finishing second to fifth contest the play-offs.

But watching his side battle back from 2-0 down, and then a man down while still behind, to claim a point last weekend has strengthened the manager’s confidence.

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“We were also 3-1 down at Sheringham the week before and picked up a point,” Florence said. “And to come back to get a point against Downham just shows the character in the side. Just by looking at the table we probably don’t look like one of the promotion favourites, but we are getting stronger by the week and we have already played five of the top six teams away from home.

“We can do better, but we have settled into the higher standard well and we are only going to get stronger. We have recruited well again recently and although we are always looking for players to make the step up, we now have strength in depth.”

North End have taken dashing full-back Leo Brando from Peterborough League side Netherton, but also signed Harry Grigas (ex-Holbeach), Ben Cowles (Deeping Rangers and Blackstones) and Liam Rodden (Peterborough Northern Star). Grigas, with a ‘worldie,’ and Rodden both bagged debut goals against Downham. Niall Burnage was the North End man sent off after collecting two yellow cards.

Sports now face an awkward ‘derby’ at improving Parson Drove on Saturday (October 16).

Drove, who moved up from the Peterborough League alongside North End, have kept back-to-back clean sheets which included a 0-0 draw at leaders Harleston.

“Parson Drove is always a tough place to go,” Florence added. “And they’ve really picked their form up lately. We will need to be at our best to get the win, but we travel with confidence.”