Belper Town manager Peter Duffield expecting exciting finish to race for play-offs
BELPER Town manager Peter Duffield is predicting another exciting race for the Evo-Stik League First Division South play-offs this season.
The Nailers agonisingly missed out on a top-five spot on the final day of last term.
They currently lie fifth in the table – in the final play-off spot – three points clear of their closest challengers, Halesowen Town.
Belper – unbeaten in 11 league games – travel to Halesowen on Tuesday in the last of three successive away trips.
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They became only the second team this season to avoid defeat at runaway leaders Coalville Town on Tuesday night, drawing 1-1.
Tomorrow, Duffield's men visit Kidsgrove Athletic, who they thumped 5-1 last weekend.
"It's a good job we're on a good run, because other teams are too," said Duffield.
"Halesowen, Northwich, Carlton and Brigg are all going well, as are the teams above us.
"I keep looking at the table, waiting for teams to start dropping points – but it's not really happening at the moment.
"However, that makes for excitement and a lot of the top teams have still got to play each other.
"So, I'm sure there will be plenty of twists and turns to come."
Duffield may look to bolster his ranks ahead of the run-in.
"We might have to look at bringing a couple more in now to strengthen the squad," he said.
"We've got to make sure we have enough players by the time the transfer deadline comes later this month."
Striker Daryll Thomas is set to miss tomorrow's game after pulling up with a groin injury during the warm-up at Coalville.
"That was a blow as he was going to start the match and had been looking extremely sharp," said Duffield.
Aaron Pride remains a doubt as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Duffield was delighted with his side's performance against the table-topping Ravens in midweek.
"Don't get me wrong, Coalville are a good team and you can see their strengths – but I thought we could have won," he said.
"We had the best chances to win it in the second half.
"Our attitude was superb and the tempo and desire was great.
"If we can keep that up, we won't be too far away at the end of the season."
Tomorrow, Kidsgrove will be out to avenge Saturday's defeat at Christchurch Meadow, where they were reduced to 10 men as early as the eighth minute.
"It was a good win, even though we weren't firing on all cylinders," Duffield added.
"I don't really like playing teams twice in such a short space of time, because it can give people a chance to settle some scores.
"We've just got to make sure we approach it like we do any other game."