Peterborough Sports manager Jimmy Dean will not allow his side’s fantastic FA Cup adventure to be the biggest achievement of the club’s historic season.
That run came to an abrupt end at the fourth qualifying round stage as Sports were beaten 6-1 at National League side AFC Fylde last weekend (October 19).
There appeared to be a hangover as Sports lost for the first time since September 3 in the Southern League Central Premier Division on Tuesday (October 22), 2-1 at Needham Market.
Sports host league rivals Alvechurch in an FA Trophy tie tomorrow (October 26, 3pm), but Dean has his eyes fixed more keenly on a surge up the table.
Sports take on Hitchin at the Bee Arena next Tuesday (October 29, 7.45pm) in the first of three league games against teams in the bottom half of the table.
“We didn’t want the FA Cup run to end at Fylde,” Dean said. “But they were too good and too fit. We gave everything as usual, but when the game opened up as we got tired they became very clinical.
“They were always going to be fitter than us as they are full time, but we weren’t helped by having to play on the Tuesday before the game whereas they had enjoyed 10 days off.
“They were also given a boost by the arrival of a new manager, but there was no disgrace in defeat. I’d do things differently next time because we stayed overnight and got to the ground at 12.30pm like a professional team would, but we were like tourists admiring the superb facilities and enjoying some outstanding hospitality.
“I was impressed with how the lads reacted by having to play a game so soon afterwards. We didn’t play well in the first-half at Needham Market, but we were good in the second-half. Injuries are hurting us at the moment. Our league record is still pretty good, but we now have three games in a row against teams in and around us and if we win two of them things will look even better.
“Of course we will try and win the Trophy match, but where we finish in the league will define our season.”
Sports are playing at step three level for the first time.
Dion Sembie-Ferris scored at Fylde and Needham Market. Goalkeeper Lewis Moat was superb in both matches.
Key midfielder Jim Stevenson joined a lengthy injury list on Tuesday.
Saturday. October 26
Fourth qualifying round: Halesowen v Stamford AFC, Peterborough Sports v Alvechurch.
Northern Premier League
South East Division: Frickley v Spalding United.
Division One Central: North Leigh v Yaxley.
United Counties League
Premier Division: Deeping Rangers v Loughborough University, Harborough v Peterborough Northern Star, Holbeach v Shepshed Dynamo, Lutterworth Town v Pinchbeck United
Division One: Bourne v Aylestone, St Andrews v Blackstones, Whittlesey v Long Buckby.
eastern Counties League
Division One North: March v Diss