Seven points clear in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division –but with Pontefract Collieries and Pickering Town starting to fill their rear-view mirror- table-topping AFC Mansfield welcome Staveley Miners Welfare to the Forest Town Stadium tomorrow night-only this time in the fourth round of the League Cup -and Bulls Assistant Manager Mark Ward is philosophical about the impact of the elements, writes Colin Muncie.
Mark told the Bootiful Game “The erratic weather may get the better of us tomorrow or it might not; who knows, we’ll have to wait and see. There’s nothing anyone can do about the weather and games being cancelled; I’ve been there as a player when I’ve not played for a month and also had to play 4 times a week come the end of the season- that’s Non-League for you. I know it can affect form and standards, so all you can do is get your head down and crack on”
As you’d expect, Mark isn’t daft enough to underestimate the wounded Trojans, especially in a knock-out competition. “It’ll be a tricky one tomorrow night” he warned. “Staveley seem to be in a bit of a transition period and have lost a lot of personnel over the last few months. They’re not the team we played and watched earlier in the season, so we’re going into the game a bit blind. There’s one thing I do know though and that’s the fact that Brett Marshall and his Management team have standards -and whoever they have playing for them will be giving their all, so we’ll be respectful of that”
Mark is pretty convinced that his side will be ready to take the game to Staveley “On the flip side, we’re at home and the lads haven’t played for a while “Mark told us “They are training really well and look hungry to get back to business -and if we reach the standards we’ve set ourselves this season, we have a good chance to make the next round”.