Sandy Lane’s table top clash is a ‘must win’ game for Penistone, says boss of history making Worksop Town

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Craig Denton says Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at Sandy Lane is a must-win game, for the opposition.

But the pressure will be on his history-making Worksop Town side, as well as visitors Penistone Church.

Tigers made it a club-record 11 league wins on the bounce with Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Hemsworth, extending their lead over second placed Penistone to six points, albeit having played a game more.

There’s talk of a potential 1,000-plus crowd for what will be the NCEL Premier’s biggest game of the season.

Denton says Penistone must win, but admits there’s pressure for the home side to match their recent form.

“You look at the table and they need to win the game, the pressure is on Penistone,” he said.

“But the pressure is also on us as well to maintain our performances and stay where we are, top of the league.

“There’s pressure on both teams if I’m being honest. It’s setting up to be a great game.”

A Matthew Sykes penalty decided Tuesday’s game at Hemsworth, just like it did the last time the Tigers met Penistone, back in November.

His 90th minute strike was the game’s only goal and Denton knows Saturday’s rematch will be just as hard fought.

“We know Penistone Church are a great side, they’re right up there with us,” he said.

“They’re direct at times, they have individual players who can really make it difficult.

“We’ll have to be at our best again, continue to maintain those high levels in and out of possession and be switched on.

“We’ve got some talented players and momentum so hopefully we’ll make it really difficult for them.”

The manager is excited at the prospect of a bumper crowd packing Sandy Lane.

This season’s highest NCEL Premier attendance came earlier this month at Sandy Lane when 656 watched Worksop batter Yorkshire Amateur 7-0.

That number could be dwarfed by the crowd that turns out on Saturday.

“We’ve seen attendances increase, which is always going to happen when you’re winning games,” said Denton.

“The club have added incentives, offers to get people coming in and I think people are enjoying their time at Sandy Lane.

“It’d be great to get a four figure crowd, it’d be awesome.

“It’s really important for our players, getting those fans singing and making a lot of noise.”

Denton says setting a new club record just days before the crunch game has put a smile on everyone’s face around Sandy Lane.

But they’ll be even happier if they make it 12 in a row by 5pm on Saturday.

“For us it’s great to achieve a club record of straight wins. It makes me really proud, it makes the players extremely proud.

“It’s a little bit of a pat on the back towards the end of the season.

“We’re at the business end, we need to not get beat and pick up points, so to do what we did at Hemsworth it put a smile on our faces.

“We’ve now got to keep doing what we’re doing and see if we can extend that record against Penistone.”