Halstead Town’s Mark McLean is hungry for his side to exact revenge on high-flying Framlingham Town when they visit Rosemary Lane on Saturday (3pm) — but says they will not be putting up the barricades to stop The Castlemen.
The Humbugs (11th) go into the fixture with only 15 minutes of competitive football under their belts in the space of three weeks, with last weekend’s Thurlow Nunn League First Division fixture at Debenham LC postponed due to a water-logged pitch.
It continued the frustration for manager McLean and his side, who had been halted in their attempt for a third straight away victory at Swaffham Town the previous weekend when a floodlight failure saw the game abandoned after just a quarter-of-an-hour.
But they head into Saturday’s contest with the most in-form side in the division, with the third-placed side having won seven on the bounce, desperate to ensure they are not put out of sight again like in December 16’s 5-1 reverse at Badlingham Road.
“We feel we are in a better moment so it is really frustrating,” said McLean of their lack of game time.
“The elements dictated not playing last weekend and it could probably play a part this coming weekend, but hopefully not.
“It will have been three weeks (since last completed a game) but it feels a lot longer.
“We feel refereeing decisions dictated things the last time we played Framlingham, so we feel we have got a score to settle with them.
“They beat us quite convincingly but we gifted them four goals (three coming inside the last 15 minutes).
“I am looking forward to it as they are one of the really, really good sides.
“They have only lost two league games, so there will be no surprises and it will be a really tough test and should be a good game.”
But asked if his side will have to make any special plans for the free-scoring Castlemen, McLean replied: “No. We will not change for the opposition, we will very much concentrate on what we do.
“We have competed extremely well against sides at the top and I know what we are capable of; we have just drawn too many games.”
Halstead had hoped to be pushing for promotion at the start of the season but find themselves some 27 points off third-placed Framlingham after playing the same number of games.
“We are not where we wanted to be and it is hurting,” said McLean.
“There are reasons behind that; consistency of squad availability is one as we had some serious injuries in the early part of the season.
“We still feel we should be in a better position but there is still time to improve.
“We have drawn too many games (nine, the most in the division) and I still feel seven losses is too many, but that is the fourth or fifth best in the league.
“I feel it is only in the last month or so that I have got (use of) the squad I have with a full quota.”