Sedgley braced for crunch relegation clash against Macclesfield

11:00am Thursday 7th February 2013

By Neil Bonnar

SEDGLEY Tigers are almost back to full strength as they look to end a horrendous run of results with a crunch clash on Saturday.

Third-bottom Tigers travel to a Macclesfield side one place and two points below them in National League One.

And with 14 points separating Sedgely and safety, and 12 games to play, the Park Lane men know the scale of this weekend’s game, which kicks off at 3pm.

They at least go into it having drawn confidence from a narrow 34-22 home defeat to third-placed Esher on Saturday when manager Geoff Roberts saw little to chose between the sides.

“They had a strong scrum and we’re a bit short in that department at the moment and they got two penalty tries from the scrum.

“That was 14 points and that was the only real difference between the two teams.”

Tigers were drawing 10-10 until they failed to cut out a surging run they would normally expect to do and Esher went in 17-10 up at the break.

A hard-fought second half eventually went the way of the lofty visitors, inflicting a 10th defeat in the last 11 games on the Tigers.

A major plus, however, was key second row man Louis McGowan finally back after snapping a bicep 20 minutes into the first game of the season.

His presence could be hugely significant in the run-in, and when fellow second row Jimmy Lloyd returns in three weeks, Tigers will be up to full strength after a nightmare season of injuries.

“We will be as strong as we can be,” said Roberts.

“We’re at the mercy of others at the moment, but we have to put that to one side and focus only on what we can do.

“But I know we have the guys to do it.”

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