Bottom two meet in SIL Senior Division as Ipswich Athletic host Grundisburgh

New Ipswich Athletic manager Mark Peck (centre), flanked by his management team; Adam Howes (left) a

New Ipswich Athletic manager Mark Peck (centre), flanked by his management team; Adam Howes (left) and Mark Whiting. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Athletic manager, Mark Peck, says there is a belief amongst his squad that the SIL Senior Division basement boys can pull off a miraculous escape, and stay up.

Athletic are six points adrift at the bottom of the division, with seven games to go, and host second-bottom Grundisburgh on Saturday afternoon– a huge game in the context of the season.

Micky Squirrell’s Grundisburgh side are also in the bottom two, on goal difference from Westerfield United, who, in turn, are a further six points adrift of fourth-bottom Wenhaston.

Since Peck took over a month ago, Athletic have lost to champions Cranes, twice, but picked up valuable points in draws against Haughley United (2-2) and Felixstowe Harpers (4-4).

“There is talk in the dressing room now that we can stay up,” said Peck, who formerly managed Stage Event Security, in Division Three.

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“Three or four weeks ago, the feeling was that we were getting relegated but we could rebuild in Division One.

“That might still happen but we have got Grundisburgh, Westerfield Stanton, and Haughley again to play and they are definitely games we feel we can get something from.

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“We are confident, but we have got to stay grounded as if we lose on Saturday, then all our efforts against Felixstowe and Haughley will have been for nothing.

“But the boys are up for it, we are getting 20-22 people turning up for training as opposed to 10 or 12 when we first started and the reserves are buying into what we are trying to do to as well.

“The team spirit is great and those on the bench or who aren’t playing are desperate to get back in the side, because they don’t want to miss out on what is happening.”

Having looked dead and buried before Christmas, three wins in a row at the end of December and into the New Year, gave Grundisburgh hope of retaining their Senior Division status for a 37th consecutive season and a win today would see them jump above Westerfield, who are without a game.

In the other two Senior Division games, Stanton and Wenhaston, neither of whom are completely safe, travel to Coplestonians and Felixstowe Harpers respectively.

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