RICKY Drury is hoping he can keep his place in the Boston United starting XI – and go one better against rivals Harrogate.
On Saturday, the keeper replaced ill number one Paul Bastock between the sticks as the Pilgrims beat Gloucester 3-1.
That was just his second league start for the club.
Incidentally, his first came in March last year when he replaced the injured Dan Haystead as the Pilgrims hosted Harrogate.
On that day, the visitors took a 2-0 lead, before a brace from substitute Spencer Weir-Daley salvaged a point.
Drury, 22, is suffering mixed feelings ahead of Saturday’s clash (KO 3pm).
He hopes to keep his place in the starting line-up, but wishes his mentor can make a speedy recovery.
“He’s one of my best pals. He’s such a great player and true pro,” Drury said of Bastock.
“He sets the standards really high and developed my game. I owe him a lot.
“He’s a great player to look up to.”
Bastock is notoriously protective of his place in the starting line-up and, although happy to see Drury do well, he will want his jersey back as soon as possible.
However, his stand-in hopes to go one better and earn victory over Harrogate.
He added: “If he’s not available I will step in and take my chance.
“Baz is number one and I’ll respect whatever the gaffers decide.”
There’s no love lost between United and Saturday’s opponents.
After luring Ian Ross from North Yorkshire to York Street, Harrogate responded by snatching defender Alan White.
The visitors’ squad also includes ex-United defender Matt Bloomer, and they are managed by another former Boston centre back, Simon Weaver.
Boston-born Richard Pell is also in the Harrogate squad.
Boston won 2-0 at Harrogate in August with Marc Newsham and Jason Lee on target.
On Easter Monday, the Pilgrims are back in action at play-off hopefuls FC Halifax United (KO 3pm).
This will mark the beginning of their tough run-in to the end of the season, facing four of the top five teams. The others left to face will be Gainsborough, Guiseley and Hyde.