Petersfield Town begin what could prove to be a crucial part of the season this weekend – but it will certainly be the most physically demanding section of their campaign.
The Rams’ Southern League division one central trip to Hanwell Town tomorrow signals the start of an energy-sapping run which will see them play every Saturday and midweek until the middle of January.
The only midweek they currently have off is on December 22/23.
But such is the pressure on the club to fit league and cup fixtures in they could yet end up playing during Christmas week.
Ian Saunders’ troops currently have nine matches to play in the 34 days before Christmas Day arrives.
And while they do not currently have a game in the few days immediately before December 25, they will be straight back into action on Boxing Day.
That clash at Uxbridge will see them embark on another run of midweek and weekend action every week until January 16, as the Rams play a further seven matches in 22 days.
The good news for Petersfield is they go into this busy period with almost a full squad to choose from.
Club captain Ryan Woodford has now completed a three-match suspension and only Stuart Green is currently on the sidelines as he recovers from an operation on his nose.
Despite some tough-looking weeks ahead, Petersfield chairman Graeme Moir said the club was looking forward to the challenge.
‘In a strange kind of way we don’t mind these kind of fixture schedules,’ he explained.
‘We have got used to it over the last few seasons.
‘Where we have enjoyed a bit of success and done well in some of the cup competitions, we have had to put up with busy periods of fixtures to fit all of the extra matches in.
‘There’s no point moaning about it – we just have to get on with it.
‘There is a great spirit within the club and we always enjoy our match days.
‘However, it is an important period for us as we want to get the results which will push us up the table.’
The Hanwell visit is quickly followed by two home fixtures at Love Lane.
Petersfield will play host to Fleet on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).
And they will then welcome AFC Rushden & Diamonds the following weekend as they bid to climb the division one central standings.