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FOOTBALL: 'Slight margins away from full potential'

Bourne Town v Birstall United
Bourne Town v Birstall United

Bourne Town are back home tonight for "the stiffest test so far this season".

The Knockout Cup preliminary round tie with Harrowby United has been switched to Abbey Lawn where the Wakes have failed to score in two defeats.

The Arrows have scored 16 goals in three successive wins in Division One of the Future Lions United Counties League.

Joint manager Rob Middleton said: "This will be the stiffest test so far this season.

"It's well documented that Harrowby have a quite handsome budget with good players.

"The message to our lads is that we need a performance for 90 minutes.

"We were the better side for 45 minutes at St Andrews when we drew and we didn't start well at home to Lutterworth Athletic.

"We feel we are slight margins away from seeing the full potential where we'll put together a run of results.

"There is a real determination here to reward the hard-working committee because we couldn't wish for a better set-up and commitment.

"Everyone is realistic about what we can achieve. We want to be competitive and hopefully we'll keep improving."

Bourne were beaten 1-0 by Birstall United on Saturday.

Middleton added: "We felt a bit gutted because we more than deserved to get something out of the game.

"It was certainly a game of two halves.

"We set our stall out but credit to Birstall, they were well organised with some experienced players. They played decent football and won the physical battles as well.

"They deserved to take the lead with a wonder strike, although we didn't get out to close him down or apply any pressure.

"We couldn't wait to get the lads into the changing room at half-time to address the situation.

"We had words and had to tweak a few things to counter-act Birstall's game. What we were trying to do certainly wasn't working in the first half.

"We took lots of positives out of the second half and the reaction was absolutely fantastic.

"It was one-way traffic and Birstall's keeper was man of the match.

"He made a fantastic save from Zak Munton's penalty when nine times out of 10, he would have stuck it in the net.

"We also hit the bar and post but it wasn't going to be our day. Birstall only got out of their half three or four times in the second half."

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