By Chris Gibbs
Hanley fixture completes our trilogy of derbies.
It started with the Boxing Day game here with Leek which we narrowly lost 2-1 and continued with the Bank Holiday derby at Kidsgrove on Monday, which ended in a battling goalless draw. The trilogy is completed on Saturday afternoon as we welcome the players, management and supporters of Hanley Town to Buckmaster Avenue for another crucial local derby.
Saturday's meeting with Hanley is a six-pointer in the truest sense of the word with the sides between them coming into today’s fixture off a run of 13 games without a win dating back to November.
Hanley sit two points and four places below us in the table in the relegation play-off position but just as we will see this as an opportunity to move away from the danger zone, that will be the message coming out of the opposition camp as well.
We’ll be looking to complete a league double on Saturday afternoon, after the return fixture with today’s opponents ended in a 2-1 win. That victory was the third of nine unbeaten matches for ‘Castle at the start of a season which started with such promise.
Saturday is about getting out of the rut and seizing opportunities. Speaking after the draw at Kidsgrove on Monday, when we started and finished the game so strongly against a side challenging for the play-offs, Robin talked about the positives in the number of chances that were being created. We now need to start putting some of them away and pull away from the sides below us in the table and get fully up and running in 2023.
Please give the boys your full support on Saturday afternoon in what is sure to be another feisty local derby.
Come on ‘Castle!