7:45pm Friday 18th April 2014
By Andrew Simpson
IAN Street believes 1874 Northwich’s bid to be promoted will not be determined by the result when they take on closest rivals Formby this weekend.
His side’s prospects of going up at the end of their first season were enhanced on Wednesday after Michael Brandon’s goal separated them from battling guests Leek CSOB.
That result left Northwich tied on points with tomorrow’s opponents in the Division One table, though the Squirrels occupy second spot because their goal difference is better.
He will call for calm when he talks to the players before kick off at Victoria Park.
“We should look forward to the occasion, not be nervous about it,” he said.
“It’s a big game, but we’re excited to be part of it.
“Whatever happens, I don’t think one side or another can leave thinking they’ve either done the job or that their challenge is over.
“Formby probably didn’t expect to lose at Rochdale [in their last league game], but they dropped points and we’ve taken advantage.
“If it happened then, it can again.”
Formby have won two of the teams’ three meetings this season, though Northwich emerged as victors from the most recent encounter – in the League Challenge Cup – in February.
None of those games will have a bearing on the next one, according to Street.
He said: “There wasn’t a pattern in those matches.
“We dominated the first game at our place, only for them to nick. We were well beaten in the second, but it was our first game in more than a fortnight and we were pretty rusty.
“We won in the cup though and were relatively comfortable apart from a flurry they had late on.
“We know what to expect from them, as they will from us. I think they’ll be right up for it, and we need to be ready.
“There will be lots of our fans there right behind us, and we’ll need their support because it will be a really tough game.
“Formby have been in this position before, so can call on that experience.
“I’ve read a lot of things saying it’s a must-win game, and of course that’s the result we want.
“But a draw isn’t a disaster – we’ll keep on believing in ourselves until it’s no longer possible to be in that top two.”
1874 Northwich will be able to count again on Lee Duckworth after he missed Wednesday’s win, but midfielder Rick Bailey is a doubt through illness.
Front man Chris Lunn (hamstring) is still not fully fit, but is available for selection.
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