After racing to victory in their first 21 matches of the United Counties Division One campaign, Sports hit the wall, firstly at Long Buckby where they lost 3-0 last Saturday (February 13), and then again at Stewart & Lloyds on Tuesday (February 16) when the home side fought back from a goal down to win 2-1.
Sports remain hot favourites to win the title - they are 11 points clear at the top ahead of tomorrow’s (February 20) home match with Rushden & Higham United (3pm kick-off at PSL) - but Dean does not want his team to crawl over the line.
“The boys have let themselves down a bit,” Dean said. “I’d never say they lacked bottle, but they should have dealt with certain situations much better than they did.
“It’s tough trying to win every game and to be fair the writing had been on the wall a bit as we’d been scrambling to narrow wins.
“The matches hadn’t been very enjoyable until the final whistle. I always enjoy winning, but there was a lot of pressure during the games because we had this 100 per cent record.
“Anyway it’s gone now and I expect a strong reaction from the players this Saturday. We have been a different animal at home. We’ve been putting teams away easily and I want a return to that form.”
Josh Moreman scored his first goal for Sports at Stewart & Lloyds. Attacking players David Cobb and Dan Clements should return to the Sports’ squad tomorrow after missing the Stewart & Lloyds match.
Sports also have a big game on Tuesday (February 23, 7.45pm kick off) when local rivals Yaxley from the United Counties Premier Division visit PSL in the semi-final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
It’s the turn of Holbeach to try and end the 26-game unbeaten record of United Counties Premier Division leaders AFC Kempston tomorrow.
Kempston took over at the top last weekend after beating long-time leaders Leicester Nirvana 2-0.
Stamford AFC’s scrap against relegation from the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division takes them all the way to Workington on Saturday.
It’s a tough test against the team currently second in the table. Stamford are next-to-bottom, five points from safety, despite claiming a vital 1-0 win over Frickley at the Zeeco Stadium last weekend.
It’s third v fourth in the Peterborough Premier Division tonight (February 19, 7.45pm) when Peterborough Sports Reserves host Ketton. Sports will go second with a win