Lancaster City are aiming to get their promotion charge back on track with a vital victory over play-off rivals Farsley tomorrow.
City manager Darren Peacock believes the Giant Axe clash is make or break for both teams and has called on his players to bounce back.
He said: “It’s our biggest game of the season and a huge game for both sides.”
After six consecutive wins, the Dolly Blues lost 2-0 to Bamber Bridge last Saturday and were beaten 3-1 by Northwich Victoria in midweek.
The defeats have caused City to drop into sixth place in the NPL First Division North but the Dolly Blues are still level on points with local rivals Brig, who currently occupy the final play-off spot in fifth.
And Peacock is keen to dispatch seventh-placed Farsley, who lie two points behind them and could potentially leapfrog City with a victory.
He said: “We need to start winning again so it’s a really big game from that point of view, especially against one of our play-off rivals.”
City were shaken by striker Jordan Connerton’s shock exit Down Under this week.
But Peacock believes the surprise switch can open the door for other players to prove themselves.
He said: “Jordan knocked on my door after the Bamber Bridge loss and told me he was going to Australia, and then he went on Tuesday.
“To be honest, I’m disappointed. The deadline has gone so I can’t sign anyone else, so the timing isn’t great.
“But it’s a chance for someone to come into the side.
“Aaron Taylor and Simon Waring played against Northwich and can stake their claim for the final games of the season.”
Peacock was dismayed by his side’s last two performances.
He said: “I was expecting to win both games.
“The Bamber Bridge match was particularly disappointing especially considering what we’ve done over the last few months.
“We created a few chances early on but stopped playing and started hitting long balls, which isn’t the way I want to play. It was a very disappointing two games.”
City defenders Ryan Elderton and Glen Steel should be available to face Farsley but Tom Kilifin is still an injury doubt.
Elsewhere in the NPL First Division, mid-table Burscough travel to face bottom side Ossett Albion.
Clitheroe are away against third-placed Warrington, and Kendal Town travel to face Ramsbottom United.
In the Conference Premier, Southport will aim to bounce back from last Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Braintree Town when they travel to face Cambridge United.