Peterborough Sports are looking down rather than up after losing their big game, but they don’t concede the title race is over
Dean accepted the 3-2 final scoreline in front of a bumper 415 crowd flattered Sports and for now he will concentrate on keeping his side in the play-off places.
But giving up completely is not in Dean’s nature even though his injury-ravaged side have lost four of their last six league games to fall nine points behind Banbury. Sports are third, but have a comfortable gap of 11 points to Rushden & Diamonds who sit just outside the play-off places.
In-form Diamonds visit the Bee Arena for a mouthwatering derby on Monday, December 27 (3pm).
“A nine-point gap is not unassailable with 19 games to go,” Dean insisted. “We will keep fighting, but injuries and off-field issues have caught up with us a bit and we were second best against a Banbury side who are the best we have played this season.
“We turned up last night, but they were better than us. They played like a team who have been able to play a settled side all season. On what I’ve seen so far they are worthy title favourites, but it will be interesting to see how they cope if they get the injuries we’ve had.
“We have another tough game on Monday against the form team in the league so we will have to be at it again and we will have to defend better. We missed Richard Jones badly last night. We wouldn’t have conceded the goals we did with him in the side.”
Banbury scored twice in the opening 16 minutes before Dion Sembie-Ferris pulled one back in the 21st minute after a fine Josh Moreman run. Banbury missed a penalty before adding a third goal before the break and they cruised through the second-half until Dan Jarvis scored a Beckham-esque free kick in the 94th minute. Substitute Mark Jones and Sembie-Ferris then almost combined for a dramatic equaliser, but a draw would have been a travesty.
Richard Jones is expected to miss the Diamonds game.