Peterborough Northern Star manager Seb Hayes insists his players do not fear the prospect of facing city rivals Peterborough Sports tonight (December 1).
Star make the short trip to PSL to take on a table-topping Sports side in the second round of the United Counties League KO Cup (7.45pm).
Higher-level visitors might ordinarily be considered favourites when facing lower-level hosts in such a contest, but this is no ordinary fixture.
Star, seventh in the Premier Division, face a daunting task in trying to stop the Sports juggernaut which boasts the only 100 per cent in the top 10 levels of English football.
Not only have Sports won all 16 league games in Division One to date, they’ve also beaten two teams for Star’s level in the FA Cup and smashed in a staggering 118 goals in all competitions.
But Star have been in decent fettle themselves lately as proven by a fine 2-1 success over second-placed Newport Pagnell on Saturday (November 28) - and Hayes believes this is another game his men can win.
He said: “Sports are a lot more experienced than us and they have a lot of talent at their disposal.
“It will be a massive ask to go to their place and beat them, and we know a lot of people have already written us off.
“I don’t mind that though as it has just given us more inspiration and determination to win the game.
“The lads have seen comments saying we haven’t got a chance and they are motivated even more by them.
“I believe we can win every game we’re involved in and I won’t be treating this one any differently.
“It is one of the hardest games of our season, but we’re not scared of it by any means. We will embrace it and we know we are capable of getting through if we produce the same level of performance we have reached in our last two games.
“If we don’t manage that, then we will be in for a long night.
“Of course we are worried about what they possess, but they should also be worried about what we possess.
“We’ll either rise to the challenge or it may be one that comes too early for us - we’ll know which it is by 9.45pm tonight.”
Sports boss Jimmy Dean has described the mouth-watering tie ‘as too close to call.’ A former Star player himself, Dean has 13 ex-Star players to choose from.
“It’s a game we’re very much looking forward to,” Dean stated. “The match is 50/5, it’s too close tp call with any confidence. It could go either way as Seb is a very good manager who can set teams up to frustrate the better sides.”
Star have influential defender Luke Smith back from suspension, but dangerous striker Craig Smith is banned.
Deeping Rangers make a third attempt to host their Lincs Senior Trophy quarter-final with United Counties Premier Division rivals Boston Town tonight, while Yaxley entertain Eynesbury in a Premier Division fixture at In2itive Park. A win for ‘The Cuckoos’ would take them above Northern Star into seventh place.
Stamford AFC’s Doodson Cup tie at home to Buxton has been postponed as Buxton are now involved in an FA Trophy tie.
(7.45pm kick offs)
Tuesday, December 1
CHROMASPORTS & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Yaxley v Eynesbury Rovers
Peterborough Sports v Peterborough Northern Star
LINCS SENIOR TROPHY
Deeping Rangers v Boston Town