Lions boss Mark Bower has his fingers crossed that none of his players picks up an injury in today’s Conference North clash with Boston as he prepares for two games in a week against Park Avenue.

The derby fixtures, in the league on Monday and the FA Trophy next weekend, are eagerly awaited by supporters of both clubs – not to mention neutrals.

Bower is the current Conference North manager of the month but he knows the games will be a tough examination.

Bower said: “These matches will be a test for us to see how far we have come.

“It’s amazing that we drew Avenue in the Trophy as well as the FA Cup and we know all about them as they are league rivals. We know they are an excellent side with flair players who can tear you apart.

“But we are on a very good run at the moment and we can go there on Monday with our own threats and looking to reverse the two defeats we have had against them this season.

“The league game (against Avenue) was just my second in charge and on the day everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But we are in a much stronger position now and a different proposition to back then.

“We have brought a few new faces in like Adam Lockwood and Danny Hall to strengthen our defence and a couple of forwards (Louie Swain and Alex Johnson) so we are a lot more balanced.

“We are looking forward to the games but we are respectful of Avenue as we are of all our opponents.

“The way Avenue play is difficult to cope with because they attack from the word go. With the talent on show from both clubs they will be entertaining games.”