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Pinchbeck United preparing for the new United Counties League Premier Division North season

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Manager Lewis Thorogood is hoping his Pinchbeck United side can now 'kick on' after their reprieve from relegation was officially confirmed.

The Knights have retained their status as a step five United Counties League Premier Division North club after being been named among the 20-teams for the new season following the release of the allocations by the Football Association.

Despite finishing second-from-bottom last season, the Knights have stayed up on a points per game basis.

Pinchbeck manager Lewis Thorogood and Mark Melson. (56766181)
Pinchbeck manager Lewis Thorogood and Mark Melson. (56766181)

Thorogood said: "It's a relief and it's nice that the young lads who have learned so much from the season just gone can now look to kick on with some continuity.

"We were so close with such a young side so for them to take all their learnings from last season they can show what they can do and hopefully upset some teams along the way.

"Everybody has all of sudden been lifted by 10 or 20 per cent and it's nice that we're in a bigger league again and I'm pleased for the club and chairman.

"We had already started planning for step five football in the hope that we would be staying in the Premier Division.

"We can now action our plans and I'm really pleased. We have been given a lifeline and we have to learn from everything we have done this season.

"We have to ensure that we don't make the same mistake twice. I'm not saying we're a team that's going to be challenging for the league or anything like that because ultimately we are a village club.

"But, from our perspective, we will look to strengthen slightly with a little bit more experience where we can while still making sure that we're sustainable and not spending stupid money."

Thorogood has also committed his future to the club along with Mark Melson who is staying on as assistant manager.

However, Graham Almond - who was part of the management team last season - is unable to commit to the new campaign after relocating to Suffolk due to work commitments.

Pinchbeck will face near neighbours Spalding United as part of their pre-season schedule.

The Knights are due to tackle the Tulips in the second of their friendlies in a match which will see manager Thorogood face his former club.

The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 5 - three days after the Knights play their first pre-season match against Thurlow Nunn League newcomers Heacham on Saturday, July 2.

The Tulips test is then followed by a home match with Northern Premier League side Lincoln United on Saturday, July 9.

Lincoln Moorlands Railway will then provide the opposition on Tuesday, July 12, before a match against United Counties League Division One side Barrow Town on Saturday, July 16.

Their pre-season campaign concludes on Saturday, July 23, when they host Huntingdon Town.

The Knights are also staging the Ashley Moore Memorial Trophy on Saturday, July 2.

The match - played annually in memory of the Pinchbeck goalkeeper who passed away in November 2020 - sees Ashley's All Stars take on a Sleaford Rangers side.

The match kicks-off at 2pm at Knight Street and will be part of a family fun day which begins at noon.

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