IT promises to be the tightest West Yorkshire Premier League run-in for many years, and Bardsey boss Lee Barraclough knows his side can’t afford to drop any points on their march to yet another title.
The Keswick Laners moved through to the last 16 of the League Cup on Saturday after demolishing Rothwell 5-0 away from home.
Next on the agenda is the league and a home fixture against current basement dwellers Altofts tomorrow (2.30pm ko).
Barraclough knows three points are a must, especially with their rivals breathing closely.
Surprise package Ripon City moved to the table summit on Saturday after a 3-2 victory at Carlton Athletic.
They will stay there if they beat East End Park tomorrow but Bardsey have four games in hand over Brown’s men.
They also play the North Yorkshire outfit in three weeks time at home.
“The only game we are focusing on at the moment is Altofts,” said Barraclough.
“They are a young side and they will come out fighting. They beat Oxenhope last weekend, which I was a bit surprised about because I rate Oxenhope.
“They’re fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, it won’t be easy.”
The Bardsey gaffer is keeping a close eye on the fitness of club captain Jamie Thompson and striker Robert Dickinson before tomorrow’s trip.
It’s another hectic month for Bardsey who have a mountain of games to catch up before the end of the season.
With 12 league games, three potential League Cup games and two possible County Cup fixtures, Barraclough admits he’ll have to assess his squad before each one.
“We’ve got Ripon City coming up, the Thursday after it’s the County Cup semi-,” he continued.
“We’ll have to look at resting one or two for the Ripon game with that one in mind.
“That’s no disrespect to Ripon, it’s just something we may have to do.
“It’s a bit catch 22 and I’ll have to have a word with my assistant Gary and work something out.
“But it’s good for the league to see Ripon up there, it’s nice to see a new face.”
WETHERBY ATHLETIC can do Bardsey a big favour tomorrow if they beat title-chasing Beeston away.
Eugene Lacy’s men pushed Knaresborough Town hard on Saturday, but eventually slipped to a 2-1 defeat, despite taking the lead through a Roman Neal strike.
SHERBURN WHITE ROSE, picked up a very credible 1-1 draw at home to Otley Town on Saturday in their bid to beat the drop.
They travel to Fields in the next round of the League Cup tomorrow (2.30pm ko).
Wayne Day’s men then have two huge weekends in their domestic competition coming up.
First they travel to Oxenhope before a must-win at home to Altofts seven days’ later.
It promises to be an exciting finish to the season, both at the top and the bottom of the division.