Worksop Town are back in action with a bang on Saturday, as they host landlords and title rivals Handsworth Parramore.
The Sandy Lane derby will be Tigers’ first outing for two weeks after their FA Vase tie against Tadcaster was postponed, twice.
Manager Mark Shaw admits that it was one of the first fixtures he looked for when the season schedule was published.
Highlighting the game’s importance for both second placed Worksop and third placed Handsworth, he said: “It’s one of those you look down the list to see when it is, to plan ahead and work out strategies early doors.
“They need to beat us and we need to beat them, both games against them are six-pointers, like the Cleethorpes games and Tadcaster games.
“And we’ve got to get back to what we were doing, winning football games and playing good attacking football.”
Shaw expects to field a much more youthful team than his opposite number Peter Duffield on Saturday, but doesn’t believe the average age of the sides will matter.
“They’re a good, strong team, very organised and experienced,” he said.
“We’re the younger team by a mile, I think we only have three players or so over 25.
“We’ve got a young, hungry team who are still learning, but they want to play good football.
“But I think it will be more about who wants it more, and who takes their chances, than about experience.”
Worksop will be without suspended top goalscorer Kyle Jordan, the only confirmed absentee as the Guardian went to print.
Shaw said his team selection would be of little surprise to his players: “People know where we are with the team, and who will fit into the slots.
“We’re going to have a group of players who are very versatile, very mobile and we’ll try to hurt Parramore as best we can in the areas we think they’re weak.
“The players know what they’ve got to do.”
A derby game always brings a certain tension to the occasion, but the Tigers boss expects a good atmosphere and will treat it as any other match.
“It won’t be tense for me, it’s just a game of football,” he said.
“If we win we move on to the next game at Tadcaster on Tuesday and hopefully we will have deserved it.
“If we lose it will hurt and we’ll go away and have a long, hard think about it.”