Worksop Town defender Lawrence expects interesting and physical battle against Handsworth Parramore

Saturday’s Sandy Lane derby between Worksop Town and Handsworth Parramore will hold little in the way of mystery for Julian Lawrence.

The Tigers centre-half is one of a number of players to have to played for both sides, and he’s very familiar with the strikers he’ll be out to stifle.

The 23-year-old knows it won’t be one of the more leisurely afternoons of the 2015/16 season.

“I’m expecting a physical encounter,” he said.

“They were a physical team when I was there.

“It won’t be easy, they’re expected to be up there every season with the players they can bring in.

“They’ve got players like Jon Froggatt who score a lot of goals.”

Another Parramore dangerman is Kieran Wells, who has scored 16 times this season, just four fewer than Froggatt.

Lawrence is relishing the chance to go head-to-head with his pal.

“I know more of Kieran, I got to know him well when I played with him and he’s one of my friends now,” he said.

“It will be an interesting battle between us.

“But you still have to be wary of Froggatt, you can’t give him too much space.”

Having joined Worksop Town from Retford United earlier in the season, Lawrence has settled into Mark Shaw’s side despite an injury and a suspension punctuating his run of games.

And he’s enjoying life with the Sandy Lane tenants.

“I’ve settled in well, the lads all took me in as one of their own - even though I played against them last season and I might have been a bit rough.

“Mark said when we first spoke that there would be crowds of 400 to 500 and that was a key fact for me.

“When I’ve played at Hallam, Retford and Parramore there’s been 50 to 100, and you mightn’t think it but getting 500 week in and week out makes a massive difference.”

Another positive factor for the Sheffield based defender is those he sees when he looks to his left and right on the pitch.

“When you play with the centre-halves we’ve got, if the ball goes over my head I know that they’ve always got my back.

“I’ve played with centre-halves int he past where you don’t want to let it to go in behind or over you because you can’t trust them.”

A fortnight’s break before a derby game is hardly ideal preparation, but Lawrence knows a victory on Saturday would provide instant momentum.

“It’s very frustrating not getting game time, but hopefully we can kick on, on Saturday, and get a big three points.”

Lawrence joins Callum Harrison and Steve Woolley in a trio of Tigers who have played for Parramore, while Handsworth’s Froggatt is an ex Tiger.

Worksop’s Mitch Husbands, Mark Peacock and Matt Steade also have experienced life at Handsworth.