FOOTBALL: Unbeaten target for Pinchbeck United
Player-manager Ian Dunn has set another challenge for Pinchbeck United to wrap up this season’s title bid.
He wants the Knights to take their unbeaten run until the end of the first campaign in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League.
They have not lost in 17 league games since the end of September.
Pinchbeck are now seven points ahead of second-placed Raunds Town at the top of Division One with 11 matches to play.
Dunn said: “I’m pretty sure that Raunds are looking over their shoulders to stay in second place, rather than trying to catch us.
“They have also got three Saturdays without a game in March so that period could have an impact.
We’ll focus on ourselves without looking elsewhere, knowing the title is ours if we keep going.
“It’s very important for us to focus on the next game and all we can do is keep winning.
“We won’t worry about the following week or the games after then.
“We have to maintain the advantage when teams below us are playing each other as well.
“We’ll focus on ourselves without looking elsewhere, knowing the title is ours if we keep going.
“As a group, we’ve spoken about staying unbeaten until the end of the season.
“We believe it’s a realistic target looking at the fixture list and our current run.
“The only reason why we can’t achieve it would be ourselves.
“We can afford to take one point from tougher away games.
“We have to make sure we win our home games and get the job done.”
Pinchbeck take on Melton Town at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Saturday.
Tony Edwards and Ash Murrell earned a 2-0 away win in early December.
Dunn said: “We have not seen them since we won there.
“Last month, they won at home to Lutterworth Town with 10 men and they also drew against Blackstones.
“So we know what they are capable of doing, even though they have been inconsistent and their away record is not particularly good.
“It’s important to focus on what we are good at doing. We need to use our forward players and defend well.
“If we make sure that we put the performances against Bourne Town and Huntingdon Town behind us, we should get three points.”
Pinchbeck are unbeaten in nine home league games since September.
Bradley Easey will make his debut on Saturday.
The former Boston United youth-team player has joined the Knights from Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League side Wisbech St Mary.
Easey had a brief spell at Holbeach United three years ago.
Dunn said: “He’s an attacking midfielder or forward who gives us more options.
“Every squad will pick up knocks and have players unavailable so we need to make sure we are not caught short in terms of numbers.
“For example, we would have only had three players on the bench if the game at Stewarts & Lloyds had gone ahead last weekend.
“We had a few players missing so the substitutes would have included myself and assistant manager Allan Ross’ son Kofi.
“Easey will be involved on Saturday which leaves us with a decision over who is left out of the squad. I would prefer to be in that position, though.
“He gives us pace going forward and adds quality to the squad.”
Tom Sergeant and Jack Smith would have missed the game at S&L last Saturday but a waterlogged pitch meant the fixture has been put back to the end of the season.
They are both available this weekend but Pinchbeck must check on James Gordon following illness.