Rarely could a derby at Crystal Park have had more significance.
Banbridge Town can take another huge leap towards Championship Two survival with another victory. But opponents Dollingstown need the points just as much.
Ryan Watson’s side host the Dollybirds (kick-off 3pm) knowing three points could take them as far as nine points ahead of the bottom five.
Perhaps, for the first time during a tough campaign then, Town could finally put some daylight between themselves and the strugglers
“You couldn’t really say that at any other stage so far this season,” admitted Watson, “but if you win two games in a row, especially with so few games left, it can open things up a bit.
“We’re not even looking at it that way though. We just want to pick up as many wins as possible in our remaining matches. Everybody is fighting for their lives but after Saturday, we’re ready to go again.”
Dollingstown have now slipped five points behind Town in the table, although they have a game in hand. They’re just one point off the drop zone and will know just how vital the game is.
Watson, however, is demanding no less than a win to make up for his side’s last home outing, when they were smashed 3-0 by Moyola Park.
“We need to put it right at home this week, he said.
“Thankfully we were able to give the supporters who made the trip a good result last Saturday. Hopefully we made their weekends because they would have felt it after the defeat. It was nice to repay their faith but we still need to do that for the supporters at Crystal Park.
“Our away form has been outstanding but now we have to get our home form right and a derby is a good game to do it in.”
Town were beaten 4-0 and 3-0 by Dollingstown in last season’s two meetings. They began to put that right with a 5-1 win at Planter’s Park last month but Watson still hasn’t forgotten.
He said: “It’s still in the back of our minds. We paid it back in one installment a few weeks ago and now we want to finish that off.”