Kirkby Lonsdale skipper Matt Hughes insists benchmark now set after derby delight (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kirkby Lonsdale skipper Matt Hughes insists benchmark now set after derby delight
FOLLOWING their momentous victory over Kendal at Mint Bridge, proud skipper Matt Hughes insists his side have now set the benchmark in terms of performance levels.
The Rams upset the formbook to record victory over their rivals, setting them up nicely for another derby clash this weekend at Vale of Lune.
And Hughes, who missed the Saturday’s showdown with a head injury, believes the heroics of last weekend will count for little if Kirkby fail to take advantage of the momentum generated.
“The standards have been set now and there is no reason why we should be able to get up for Kendal and not be able to get ourselves up and pumping for future games,” he said.
“We have spoken at training this week and as fantastic as last week was, it will mean nothing if we go and let ourselves down at the Vale this week.
“The lads gave everything at Kendal and we want a repeat of that, in fact it was a strange dressing room afterwards as they were so shattered.
“They came in and sat in silence for about ten minutes and I don’t think they really knew what they had done but once it had sunk in they were over the move.
“A lot of people are throwing it around that it’s the biggest game in the club’s history since 1877 and Kirkby was a good place to be on Saturday night.
“In terms of my fitness, all being well I’ll be alright at training tonight and we’ll then make a decision from there, whereas Tom Pickthall is likely to be out for another couple of weeks yet.”
The Kendal victory sees Kirkby rise to tenth in League North One West, although their league position could well have been healthier but for a season of hard luck stories.
Despite only winning one game from six outings prior to last weekend, the vast majority of Kirkby’s defeats have been closely-fought encounters, with Hughes relieved those tables have been turned.
“We have had a number of close matches in recent weeks where we felt we should have got more from the game,” he added.
“The last two weeks for instance we have come out on the wrong end of the game whereas on Saturday the second-half felt right and went according to plan.
“We hoped our fitness would tell against a much bigger side and that happened. The Kirkby players did us all proud and it was brilliant to come out on the right side of a scoreline for a change.
“The lads were excellent on Saturday, every single one of them, we used the bench well and all 18 had an impact, they were outstanding.”
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