Spalding United’s under-21 development team kick off the league season tonight.
Manager Lewis Thorogood and assistant Graham Almond face their former club Boston United at the Sir Halley Stewart Field, having joined the Tulips from the Pilgrims this summer.
Thorogood said: “We want three points in our first league game and it’s not just about the history of where we have come from.
“Boston are probably the only team in the south section who will pose a threat in terms of challenging at the top.
“But we don’t know what squad they will bring because they haven’t played under-21 games in pre-season.
“Although it’s great for Alex Smith to be part of the senior squad, he knows his chances will be more limited as our substitute goalkeeper.
“Marcel Chipamaunga came off the bench last week in the Emirates FA Cup replay and he carried on doing what he has done for us in the under-21s.
“He’s a pacy player with a great future and great attitude. I’m confident he will flourish and it seems Spalding’s fans have already taken him to their hearts!
“It’s a local derby and I hope to see a decent crowd tonight.”
Lewis Millington grabbed a second-half double on Thursday as Spalding completed their pre-season programme with a 2-0 win at Lincoln United.
We want three points in our first league game and it’s not just about the history of where we have come from.Lewis Thorogood
He was named Spalding’s star man in the 3-0 home defeat to Evo-Stik South leaders Cleethorpes Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
Thorogood added: “He’s doing well and Chris Rawlinson had a brief chat with him about the future.
“Lewis is a physical striker – like a younger Gary King in terms of his hold-up play and chasing things down.
“Overall, I thought it was a solid performance at Lincoln who should get out of the north section into the play-off final.
“This was the first time in pre-season when we’ve had a full-strength side.
“I’m happy that we’ve put together a strong squad of 16 topped up with trialists and first-team players who need game time.”
Admission prices tonight are £4 for adults and £2 for under-16s.