Vernon Carus looking for final push to seal promotion
Vernon Carus captain Bob Bridges insists his men are still in a great position despite their stuttering form in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.
Long-time leaders of the division, Vernons look out of the title race after Penrith opened up a 19-point gap at the top of the table with three games of the season left to play.
A poor run of form has come at the worst possible time for the men from Factory Lane.
They have won just two of their previous seven games and their hopes of winning promotion to the Northern League are in the balance.
Last weekend, they were shocked by lowly Croston but in a quirk of fate they moved back into second spot after picking up three bonus points.
That meant they moved a point above Kirkham & Wesham whose game against Barrow – another promotion rival – was abandoned because of the weather.
Barrow technically have promotion in their own hands as they are five points off second with a game in hand, although they still have to go to Penrith on the final day of the season.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, Bridges knows there is still going to be twists and turns in the promotion race.
He insists he would have taken the position his men currently find themselves in before this season started and has backed his men to rediscover their form.
“It’s a difficult question to answer when you think about the start to the season that we had,” said Bridges, whose men host Great Eccleston this weekend.
“But I think we would have said at the start of the season that if there were just a few games to go and we were in with a good chance of winning promotion,
I think we would have taken that.
“We didn’t really know how the season would pan out all those months ago back in April.
“We went into the season confident that we had a good squad of players and I think we showed that in the first part of the season.
“We look back at some games this season we probably should have won which would have kept us at the top of the table.
“Over the last few weeks we have had people missing through holidays or weddings.
“Availability is always an issue at this time of year and that is partly one of the reasons why we have dropped off in terms of our results.
“We have not really had the strength in depth that we perhaps had at the start of the season.
“I am not going to blame anyone for that because I believe that the XI we have put each week has been good enough to win, but for one reason or another it hasn’t clicked for us recently.”
Saturday fixturers: Kirkham & Wesham v Eccleston, Penrith v Penwortham, Preston v Croston, South Shore v Fylde, Thornton Cleveleys v Barrow, Vernon Carus v Great Eccleston.
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.