Bishops Cleeve AFC

Bishops Cleeve AFC

It's crunch time now for Villagers – Sykes

It's crunch time now for Villagers – Sykes

The Villagers head south to Tiverton Town tonight (7.45pm) looking to spark their Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West play-off push into life.

Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wimborne Town gave Sykes the first of the seven points he believes his side need from three games this week.

So victories against Tiverton tonight and Abingdon Town at Kayte Lane on Saturday are a must if Sykes' target of the play-offs is to be reached.

"Looking at the table now we are seven points off fifth place at the moment and so the pressure is on us to get points on the board," Sykes said.

"If we can get two wins on the board in these two games coming up then I am sure by the time I wake up on Sunday morning it will look very different.

"If we get six points we will go up a place or two, but if we only get two or three on the board then things will start to look difficult for us."

Sykes was left to rue two points that got away at the Cuthberry Ground on Saturday after his side missed a glorious chance to put the game to bed.

The Cleeve player-boss had given his side the lead before his side were awarded a penalty at the start of the second half.

In giving away the penalty Wimborne goalkeeper Jason Harvell was sent off, only for substitute Dean Ackeman to save Mike Tambling's spot kick.

And to compound the misery the ten-man hosts struck an equaliser four minutes from time to take what Sykes believes was a deserved point.

"It was a bit disappointing – it was a difficult game and the penalty was the turning point unfortunately," Sykes said.

"Mike never meant to miss it and the keeper made a good save, but it was more disappointing that we failed to capitalise against ten men.

"In the cold light of day it's a hard-earned point, but I said to the lads afterwards that we perhaps disappointed ourselves with our performance.

"But if we go to Tiverton and get three points then suddenly Saturday looks like a good result. If we don't then it looks like a bad one."

Sykes has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Devon, having shaken off the knock that forced him off midway through the second half at Wimborne.

"I got a bit of a whack but should be fine," Sykes said. "Sam Avery is back and Adam Mayo has recovered from flu so we will go there full of beans determined to get a good result."

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