Scarborough League third division title-chasers Whitby RFC take on struggling Sleights Reserves on Saturday (Feb 15), hoping to cut West Pier Reserves’ lead at the top to six points.
Sleights’ second string will be determined to end Rugby Club’s unbeaten record in the Scarborough and District League this season.
Rugby Club boss Ste Mothersdale said: “Forget about league positions – that will go out the window on Saturday.
“This will be one of the biggest test of our season.
“They have nothing to play for whereas we are going for the league but they have some good players and to me, are in a false position in the league.
“I am sure they will turn the corner and find form – I hope it isn’t this Saturday.
“Its a big test to our unbeaten league record which they will be eager to end but these are the games you look out for at the start.
“We have some lads with plenty of experience that will be crucial on pitch with Sam Gale, Chad Swales, Paul Jobling and Damon Craig, who you look to to fire up the younger lads.
However, despite Sleights’ second-string finding it tough going in their maiden season, joint-manager Rob Ingham revealed how much everyone in the squad is looking forward to the derby clash.
“It’s a derby, whether at this level or professional, everybody wants to win,” he said. “It’s going to be an extremely tough game – they can still top the league if they win their remaining fixtures and that’s credit to the work Ste Mothersdale has done.”
The two sides met for the first time in September at the Showfield, when RFC battled back from going behind to an Arron Leeman header to win 3-1, thanks to three strikes in the last 10 minutes from Ste Ross, Mike Kilpatrick and Damon Craig.
“It’s always nice to see Whitby-based teams doing well but needless to say we don’t want to be doing them any favours come Saturday,” added Ingham.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome former Rugby Club and current Sleights player Stu Hancock as joint-manager of the reserves to support me and between us we are hoping to make a real success of the reserves in years to come.”
Mothersdale is also relishing the challenge, knowing his side have five games in hand on West Pier Reserves, who they trail by nine points.
Kick-off at Caedmon School is 2pm.