Leaders up next in Fulwood and Broughton’s survival fight

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

Fulwood and Broughton skipper Mark Smith admits he was a nervous man on the eve of last weekend’s fixture against Northern League Division One bottom side Preston.

With rain forecast, the captain was worried that the weather would interfere with his side’s chances of obtaining maximum points against Nizam Patel men, who have picked up just four points all season.

Fortunately, the weather was kind to F&B and they quickly wrapped up victory to move out of the bottom two.

“We were looking at the long range forecast last weekend,” said Smith. “It was looking like it was going to rain all day which was a bit of a worry because Saturday was one game we had earmarked of having a good chance of winning.

“But luckily it was a nice day and we got the win.”

F&B are now unbeaten in five games in the league and have given themselves a fighting chance of survival.

However, they have it all to do this weekend when they entertain table toppers Netherfield at Highfield this weekend.

Andthree of their final four games are against Leyland, Chorley and St Annes – teams which occupy a current position in the top five in the table.

“We have got some big games coming up against teams at the top end of the table.

“We are feeling positive because in the first half of the season we got to the last over against a lot of the big teams so if we can win two or three of those games we have narrowly lost before, we will be confident of survival.”

On Sunday, F&B are in action once more when they take onold foes Garstang with the winners going through to the final of the Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery Trophy.

“We come up against some familar faces,” said Smith. “It seems like we play them three or four times a year all various competitions.

“They have had an excellent season and I think it is a good advert for the Palace Shield that one of the promoted sides will be in the cup final.”

NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Fulwood and Broughton v Netherfield, Garstang v Fleetwood, Leyland v Blackpool, Morecambe v Barrow, Penrith v Preston, St Annes v Chorley.

MOORE AND SMALLEY PALACE SHIELD: Eccleston v Longridge, New Longton v Torrisholme, Penwortham v Kendal, South Shore v Great Eccleston, Thornton Cleveleys v Croston, Vernon Carus v Lancaster.