For the second time this season, the Bees will be looking to put the disappointment of a loss to Lichfield behind them as they face Longton in the next round of National League 3 Midlands tomorrow at Portway (Saturday 18th February, KO 2.15pm).
Back in October, having suffered a 15-23 home defeat to Lichfield, the Bees travelled up to Longton the following week where they were defeated 22-11 by the Staffordshire side.
Four months on, having slumped to a 36-12 defeat at Lichfield last week, the Bees will be keen not to let a second side “do the double” on them this Saturday.
Last week’s performance and result was made all the more disappointing with league leaders Nuneaton slipping to a rare defeat against Syston - the Bees therefore missed an opportunity to stay in touch with the promotion contenders. All such thoughts will be put firmly to one side though, as the team’s focus will be very much on matters immediately in hand.
On what is Ladies Day at the Club tomorrow, the Bees know that they will have to “man up” against a Longton side who showed themselves to be both a powerful and physical outfit in the encounter up at Trentham Fields earlier on in the season.
Longton’s league campaign to date has been a mixed bag, having won 8 of their games and lost 11. Currently in tenth place in the division with 43 points, six places and 16 points below their hosts tomorrow, the highlights of their season have been victories at both Peterborough and Derby, as well as defeating the Bees on Staffordshire soil.
Coaching duo Pete Glackin and Ben Woods have made four changes to the starting fifteen that lost to Lichfield last weekend.
In the pack, Pete Koziot gets the nod at loose head and with Reece Donaldson picking up an injury last weekend, a fit again Michael Stephens slots into the back row on the open side.
In the backs, Callum MacBurnie moves to inside centre, with Jimmy Oliver coming in for the injured Isaac McNulty at outside centre. Jevon Hinds retains the No.14 shirt.
On the bench, Charlie Mumford joins Freddie Clark and Joe Foreman.
Updated 11:19 - 17 Feb 2017 by Richard Smith