Longlevens manager Craig Martin says his players aren’t under pressure ahead of a potential season defining fixture against Reading City on Good Friday.
The Gloucestershire side know that they need to get a result in the fixture at Saw Mills to secure safety, otherwise they will face a must win game against Binfield on Easter Monday.
Longlevens did have the chance to secure survival this past weekend, when they travelled to Reading City, but were beaten 2-1 after a lacklustre display.
The result means that Reading City pulled level on points with Longlevens ahead of Friday’s game. As we have said before, there is no guarantee that the side finishing 2nd bottom will avoid relegation from the Hellenic Premier – so the side finishing 3rd bottom in 17th will be assured of their Hellenic Premier place.
Ahead of Good Friday’s return fixture, Martin addressed last weekend’s defeat before looking at the return fixture.
“Last weekend was a game that we wanted to go on to win to guarantee safety but it wasn’t to be. Both sides had plenty of chances but Reading took two of theirs whereas we could only take one in the final minutes.
We had players missing but it can’t be used as an excuse. The lads are all capable and good enough but even though we were able to create chances I didn’t think we were at the races at all on Saturday, so I am expecting a big response Friday.” Martin Added
“Friday does and could define our season, but the pressure isn’t on the boys at all. They always try and give it their all and I respect them for it,
It’s been a long old season with a few things going on during the season and it hasn’t been easy for any of us, but Friday I’m hoping that 1-16 we will all be on it from the start. Then obviously depending on how it goes we will know what kind of preparation we need for Binfield on Bank Holiday Monday.”
Martin, who has been named on the bench in the last couple of Longlevens fixtures, teased coming on during the defeat at Reading City at the weekend and he has responded to rumours that he may be in line for making a return on the field on Friday lunchtime.
“I’ve joked about playing and sometimes I think ‘go on just do it’ but then I think like a manager and having not really trained or kept myself in any shape I can’t do it to myself and the boys. But don’t put it past me making some kind of appearance over the weekend, whether things are going our way or not.”
Longlevens vs Reading City is our featured game on Good Friday and kicks off at Midday at Saw Mills. Longlevens then welcome Binfield on Easter Monday in their final Hellenic Premier fixture, kick off 15:00.
Check out the full list of fixtures in and around the county this Easter Weekend right here.