Hemel Hempstead Town boss Dean Brennan is preparing his side for another ‘cup final’ tonight as they welcome Hertfordshire rivals St Albans City to Vauxhall Road for a huge National League South showdown.
The result of tonight’s game will go a long way to deciding both team’s fates this season – with Hemel looking to cement their place in the playoff places and St Albans fighting tooth and nail to avoid relegation.
Hemel currently occupy the fourth and final playoff place, level on points with Maidenhead United and Dartford – with a win tonight giving them the chance of moving three points clear of their nearest rivals with only three games left to play.
Looking ahead at the game on BBC Three Counties radio, Brennan said: “I’m proud of the lads because in the last three games we’ve only had 13 senior players available so we are punching well above our weight and we are delighted to be in the position that we are in.
“Five or six weeks ago we decided to move some of our older players on because we didn’t feel that we could get into the playoffs, but the young players have come in and done unbelievably well.
“But there’s no easy games in this division – as much as you can win three games on the trot, you can also lose three on the trot.”
Speaking about opponents St Albans, Brennan continued: “I think that St Albans have got a fantastic forward line and most of their forwards would walk into any team in this division.
“Ian (Allinson) has come in at St Albans and done an unbelievable job because they had looked dead and buried but they’ve gone on to win five of their last six games.
“We just keep taking it one game at a time – every game for us is a cup final now because of the position that we are in so we are looking forward to the game against St Albans. It should be a good game.
“I love the derbies, they’re great - you really need the players to step up to the plate because there is always drama.”