Ripon City head into their double delight of matches against high-flying opposition this week using past poor performances as motivation to succeed.
City welcome second-placed outfit Beeston St Anthony’s to Mallorie Park on Saturday before travelling to talented side Leeds City on Wednesday evening.
Boss Charlie Brown will be eyeing an improvement in results after a second match in a row without maximum points at Horbury Town on Saturday.
Ben Jones was on form but City were stung by a late goal as they drew 3-3 at the Wakefield side.
City missed an opportunity to move into fifth spot as East End Park lost 3-2 at Field, and Boroughbridge’s clash against Oxenhope Recreation was postponed.
Club secretary Andy Young said City were still in the hunt for a top five finish this season.
But he admitted players were playing for their shirts ahead of the upcoming Whitworth Cup semi-final against Knaresborough Town, which has yet to be rearranged.
Young said: “Our season is definitely not over.
“We are not switching off. We want to finish on a positive.”
Joe Knowlson, Matt McGlinchey, Liam Gaffney and Kyle Fox are back in contention for the clashes against Beeston and Leeds. But James Mason is suspended and Tom Leeming will miss out on Saturday due to cricketing commitments (see page 95).
On the upcoming matches, Young said: “We put in a very poor performance when we played Beeston away.
“That’s our motivation for Saturday.
“We were all over the place and were soundly beaten. We want to put the record straight.”
City have won just one of their last five West Yorkshire Premier matches as they lie seventh in the table.
But, despite their poor form, striker Jones has slotted straight into the free-scoring form he enjoyed at previous club Boroughbridge.
Jones scored twicey to give City a half-time lead at Horbury Town, the team City beat to record their historic League Cup success last year.
But the Wakefield side battled back into the contest and, after having a goal disallowed, they hit back to level proceedings.
Ashley Atkinson put Brown’s boys back ahead but the pendulum levelled out with five minutes to go as the hosts shared the spoils.
Young added: “They were a good side and in reflection, it was better to come away with a point than nothing at all.
“That’s been our downfall in recent weeks, not getting anything at all.
“Ben has been excellent. He has come in and done what we wanted.
“But we conceded two set-pieces and no one likes to do that.”