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Title-chasers all set for crucial battle

Sean Gregory in action for Selston.
Sean Gregory in action for Selston.

Selston and Kimberley Miners Welfare will go into battle this weekend with crucial points at stake in the battle for the East Midlands Counties League title.

Both sit in the top four of the table with Selston four points behind leaders Teversal and Kimberley fourth, ten points behind Teversal but with three games in hand.

And for Selston boss Craig Weston, it’s a great opportunity to keep the pressure firmly on those around them.

He said: “With Kimberley having games in hand it’s important for us to take points off them which will in turn do our own chances a lot of good.

“It’s a game that I hope will capture the imagination of everyone locally and not only will we work hard to get the game on should the weather threaten it again, but I’d hope we’ll see a good gate at the Parish Hall Grounds too.

“Kimberley are up there for a reason and do what they do very well. Andy Alls has done a fine job there. They play an intense style of football that can be tough to play against - they like to get the ball back to front quickly, use their full backs well and support their front man effectively and it’s got them results.

“So we have to adapt to their style whilst at the same time doing what we do best.”

Selston’s match at Arnold Town last Saturday was one of many to fall victim to the wet weather, although Weston isn’t yet too concerned that the number of postponements will create a big problem later on in the campaign.

He said: “It’s been the same for pretty much everyone and there are teams with far more games to play than we have.

“We gave the players Saturday off in the end but will train twice this week and be ready for this weekend.”

With the EMCL title race looking set to go to the wire, Weston remains confident that his side’s experience of being front-runners in recent seasons will serve them well again this time around.

He said: “It’s a different level now but we’ve won titles for the last two seasons so I’m confident we’ll handle the pressure of being at the top just fine.

“You look at the table and it seems it’s between four at the moment but there can often be a side that is a bit further out that can put a great late run together and be challenging too.

“Likewise, a few bad results for those up there already and you can drop out of contention. I’d like to still be in this kind of position with seven or eight games to go as I have every faith that we’d thrive and have a real chance.

“There are bound to be jitters among one or two teams so we just have to make sure we keep it together and maintain our challenge.”