Netherton United boss Jon Harrison hopes the pain of a previous PFA Senior Cup final defeat will inspire his players to go one better on the biggest night of the local season.
Netherton’s last London Road appearance back in 2012 ended in heartbreak when they were beaten by a Pinchbeck team rumoured to have been splashing the cash – something that is against the rules at amateur level.
It should be a more level playing field this time around though as Netherton face Coates Athletic on Posh turf on Monday night (7.45pm).
It is seventh versus second in the Peterborough & District League Premier Division (although previous form suggests there is nothing between these two teams) and a clash of two bright, young managers aiming to win their first pieces of silverware in the hotseat.
Harrison, a Netherton player when they were beaten three years ago and now in his first season of management, said: “It was a horrible feeling to lose that final to Pinchbeck.
“There are a few lads still involved and it is certainly not something we want to experience again.
“We are all older and wiser now and we would love to lift the trophy.
“I’ve built my players up a few times in print during the season only for a result or performance to let us down so I’m making no big predictions about Monday.
“All I will say is that I couldn’t be any happier going into the game. We’ve got match-winners coming into top form at just the right time.
“The big Posh pitch should also suit us as we have a lot of pace in the team.”
Rival boss Andy Lodge is coming to the end of his second campaign at the Coates helm.
He is confident his players will handle the high pressure of playing in the showpiece occasion of the local season and believes the real winners on Monday night will be those in the stands
Lodge is predicting a cracking contest between two teams who have drawn their Premier Division clashes 1-1 and 4-4 this season.
He said: “I think it has the makings of a really exciting game. We are both attacking teams and I expect it to be a case of fighting fire with fire.
“We know how to get at them and they know how to get at us.
“It is one thing smashing eight or nine goals past a team on a local pitch on a Saturday afternoon, but it is nights like this where you learn a lot about players.
“It is all about embracing the occasion and not freezing – and I have no concerns about any of my lads on that front.”
The Premier Division title is likely to be won on Saturday. Table-toppers Oakham United host Deeping Rangers Reserves in their penultimate fixture and a point will be enough to seal the deal.