Spalding Town Cricket Club skipper Rob Ambrose admits that he’ll have to lift his side after witnessing the “worst display” of his reign.
The influential opener, who guided Town to their first-ever promotion to the Lincs ECB Premier League last season, was disappointed by last weekend’s losing draw at Lincoln Lindum.
A marathon 49-over innings from Mike Kearns (39 from 133 balls) and a stubborn knock from young spinner Max Cusack (four from 36) helped Spalding close on 127-8 following Lindum’s whopping total of 280-6.
Karanjit Bansal, dropped multiple times by Town, top scored with an explosive 78 – and Ambrose concedes that his side were lucky to come away with four points.
“Only Mike and Max can really take anything from Saturday’s game,” said the captain. “We took a proper beating.
“We went there expecting to get something having seen where they were in the table – and perhaps that was the problem. I even won the toss for once, but it made no difference. It’s certainly the worst we’ve played since I’ve been captain. We didn’t put them under any pressure and our fielding was poor.
“But my job now is to lift the lads and make sure we get a smile back on our faces.
“Come the end of the season, the four points we got there could prove vital.”
It doesn’t get any easier for South Holland’s highest ranked team this weekend, as they play host to third-placed Skegness at Spalding Grammar School (12.30pm).
Town, who are 13 points clear of the drop zone, have Josh Newton and Charlie Kearns available, but must again do without Ian Smith.
And having already beaten defending champions Haxey and the mighty Bracebridge Heath on home soil this season, Ambrose is hopeful his charges will deliver another afternoon to remember.
He added: “I said at the start of the season that’d we’d take some hidings – and Saturday felt like one of them.
“Skegness will be very difficult, it’s one of the harder games. Our season won’t be determined by results against the likes of them.
“The pitch isn’t going to be in the best of condition, so again the toss will be key. If we can get them in and take a few early wickets, who knows?
“We want to stay in this league and build ourselves up as a club, so simply staying up this season is the aim. But these are the games you want to play in.”