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Bourne Town need two points to be crowned United Counties League Division One champions





Bourne Town will be aiming to make it a weekend to remember by winning their first league title for more than 30 years.

The Wakes head into their Bank Holiday double bill of fixtures needing just two points to take the United Counties League Division One crown.

Bourne's last championship success came in the 1990/91 season when they won the Premier Division title.

Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen
Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen

And, after Tuesday night's 1-0 victory over Sandiacre, they are on the cusp of reclaiming their place back at step five of the non-league pyramid.

They were demoted to Division One in 2009/10 due to the Football Association's ground grading regulations as their Abbey Lawn ground was not fully enclosed at that time.

But a positive points haul from their Easter games at Clifton All Whites on Saturday and Monday's home derby duel with Blackstones will bring championship glory to the Wakes.

James Hill-Seekings. Photo: Dan Allen
James Hill-Seekings. Photo: Dan Allen

Manager Michael Goode said: "The Bank Holiday weekend should be brilliant and we'll be going out to win both games.

"We'll hopefully get a massive crowd for the derby on Monday to make it a really good day.

"We're not there yet but hopefully we can get the job done."

Dan Flack. Photo: Dan Allen
Dan Flack. Photo: Dan Allen

Bourne have been relentless in their quest for the title as they head into the weekend's games on the back of a 12-match winning streak.

Manager Goode has been full of praise for how his players have coped with the pressure of a two-horse title race with Clipstone.

The Cobras held a four-point advantage after winning their opening eight games and also inflicted the only defeat of the season on the Wakes.

Bourne get ready for kick-off. Photo: Dan Allen
Bourne get ready for kick-off. Photo: Dan Allen

However, Bourne have been unstoppable since that first league loss with 17 wins and a draw to open up a 14-point lead at the top.

Goode added: "The players have dealt with it very well because it doesn't matter what league you're in, if you're running into the end of the season and you're close to winning something, then the pressure builds.

"The likes of Richard Jones, Dan Flack and Henry Dunn have been in big games and runs before.

Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen
Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen

"Everybody else is fairly new to that and haven't been involved in this sort of run-in so those three have been pretty key to just keeping everybody focused and switched on.

"We have been very professional. We have learned how to control games as well as setting the pace and tempo.

"We have been really solid and it's not just the back four and goalkeeper. The work-rate from the front three through to the midfield has been non-stop. Our fitness levels and athletism is really good."

Manager Michael Goode with Josh Edmondson. Photo: Dan Allen
Manager Michael Goode with Josh Edmondson. Photo: Dan Allen

Bourne have so far won 31 of their 35 league games this term and Goode wants the hard- working commitee and chairman Chris Good to enjoy the club's success.

He commented: "It's been good this season and people who have been around the club for a long time are enjoying it because this sort of thing doesn't happen very often.

"I just hope that all of the committee members and the chairman, in particular, enjoy the occasion.

Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen
Robbie Ellis celebrates his goal. Photo: Dan Allen

"Chris puts a lot of time and effort into the club and they should all savour every minute because it would be a great achievement."

Bourne secured a 12th successive league win on Tuesday night as they defied monsoon-like conditions and a long midweek trip to return home victory.

Robbie Ellis, who was excellent with Sean Archer in the centre of midfield, netted the all-important goal in the second half to move the Wakes 14 points clear at the top going into the Easter weekend.

Robbie Ellis is congratulated. Photo: Dan Allen
Robbie Ellis is congratulated. Photo: Dan Allen

Their Derbyshire hosts had made life difficult for the Wakes with goalkeeper Dan Swan being forced into an excellent early save.

James Hill-Seekings saw a shot blocked and fired another effort just wide as the opening period finished goalless.

However, Ellis made the vital breakthrough midway through the second half as he bundled the ball home from Zak Munton's free-kick into the penalty area.

The Wakes then defended well in the latter stages to keep a fifth successive clean sheet and move on the brink of championship glory.

Goode commented: "Sandiacre were really resolute so you have to give them credit.

"I thought we played some good football in the first half considering the conditions. We were patient after half-time and got the goal.

"It then became really scrappy but we were really solid like we have been so many times recently and got the job done.

"It was one of those nights where the result was the most important thing because you can't play front foot, attacking football all of the time."

Goalscorer Ellis did pick up a caution on Tuesday night which means a suspension after the weekend double-header. Josh Edmondson is now banned for three games following his dismissal at West Bridgford last Saturday.



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