MILDENHALL Fen Tigers promoter Michael Lee believes this weekend could be the West Row outfit’s most crucial of the season.
The Tigers visit the Hackney Hawks tomorrow (7pm) and Scunthorpe/Sheffield on Monday (5pm) looking to close in on a National League play-off place, and also host the Isle of Wight Islanders in the first leg of their Knockout Cup semi-final on Sunday (4.30pm).
With the table so close, and Mildenhall having struggled to a draw on their recent visit to the Isle of Wight, Lee is fully aware of the importance this weekend holds.
“There are no foregone conclusions in the league,” he said. “Stoke and Scunthorpe will be in the play-offs, barring stupidity, and then it is between ourselves, Hackney, Dudley and Belle Vue.
“We haven’t been beaten by Hackney yet this year in three meetings so it would be nice to keep that record intact.
“If we could come away with a victory, it would really help us in the race for the play-offs.
“With the trip to Scunthorpe, it is a big ask to expect the boys to go out there and win — although they are certainly capable of doing that.
“Against the Isle of Wight, we want to build up a nice cushion — we have to give 100 per cent because every point counts in the first leg.
“To get in the play-offs and reach a cup final in our first season since reforming would cap an excellent year.”
Scunthorpe/Sheffield visited West Row in the National League on Sunday and, despite a poor meeting for Tigers’ guest Ben Morley, Mildenhall came away with a win.
“We were chuffed to bits with the way our boys performed,” added Lee. “In my view, Scunthorpe are the strongest team in the league, so I knew it would be a really tough challenge. “With Cameron Heeps out we needed all the boys to step up and they did just that.”
Teenage Aussie Heeps, who broke his wrist in the 45-45 draw at the Isle of Wight last week, saw a specialist on Monday and is expected to be in plaster for another week.
He will undergo some physio work once his cast is off, but could even be fit for the National League Knockout Cup semi-final second leg, at the Islanders on September 13.
n Seventeen-year-old Australian Robert Branford will guest at number one for the Tigers at Hackney and Scunthorpe, while the Stoke Potters’ Jamie Pickard will be in the side for Sunday’s Knockout Cup semi-final against the Isle of Wight.
Mildenhall number two Mark Baseby is expected to be fit to ride, despite being absent with ligament damage for the last two meetings.