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6 months ago By Stevie R

Blues face the ultimate test when they travel to runaway league leaders Basford United on Saturday.

The Nottingham-based side are currently a whopping 21 points clear at the top of the table and are unbeaten in their 24 league games to date, having won 20 of them.

Furthermore Blues have never beaten Basford in five previous attempts with just a single draw and four defeats against them and they never taken as much as a point away from Greenwich Avenue.

Manager Neil Bakersays it’s a tough ask for his team to be the first to inflict a first defeat on Basford, who are managed by former Stoke City striker Martin Carruthers.

He told The Sentinel: “Basford are a good, well-organised side capable of grinding out a result even when they are not playing well and that’s why they are top of the table.

“They are the Manchester City of our league, if you like, no-one has found a way to beat them and they have set a benchmark for the rest to follow. They have players who have been at a higher level and you can tell because they have the consistency to keep winning matches.

We don’t at the moment and that’s something we are all working hard on to put right, but we will go there and try to make things difficult for them.”

Baker was disappointed with the New Years Day defeat at Market Drayton, particularly after a run of three straight wins and says that kind of inconsistency is costing Leek valuable points.

“It’s a trait we need to lose. Too often this season we have gone ahead in games, as we did as Market Drayton, but end up losing the game. We need to manage games better than we are doing and that’s really down to the players. It’s frustrating. I never question the commitment of the players, but some times their decision making leaves a lot to be desired,” added the manager.

Baker is hoping to have midfielders Dan Trickett-Smith and Niall Maguire available for the Basford game, although the Blues boss thinks Maguire is more likely to feature than Trickett-Smith with the former having suffered a couple of knocks over the festive period whilst Trickett-Smith suffered a dead leg last Saturday.

“Dan was a bit sore after the Loughborough game, so there was no chance of him making the Market Drayton game. Hopefully things will have improved during the week and we’ll have a look at him before we make a decision.”

Updated 10:45 - 7 Jan 2018 by Stevie R

Where next?

TOWN 'THROW' IT AWAY Blues lost an incredible match away to Basford United 3-2 after leading 2-0 with less than ten minutes remaining.
NEW YEAR'S DAY CURSE STRIKES AGAIN The curse of New Years Day struck again as Blues went down 3-2 at lowly Market Drayton Town.


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