BRANTHAM Athletic joint-boss Matt Carmichael is hoping for a positive reaction from his players in their Thurlow Nunn League encounter against Newmarket Town.

The Imps produced one of their poorest displays of the season when losing 1-0 at Stanway Rovers on Boxing Day.

It followed a 3-1 success at Kirkley and Pakefield on Saturday and Carmichael is hoping for a repeat of that display - rather than the one served up on Tuesday - when Newmarket visit the Leisure Centre tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

“We had a few key players out but, even so, just didn’t turn up against Stanway,” he told the Standard.

“Our performance was pretty awful and the lads held their hands up afterwards.

“We can’t carry that many players and the boys know it wasn’t good enough.

“I wouldn’t say we were outplayed, despite having such an off-day, but it was one of our worst performances of the season.

“We were flat and lacked spark.

“Nevertheless, we can’t be too hard on the boys because they’ve been great so far this season.

“We just have to put it behind us, move on and hope for a positive reaction against Newmarket.

“I’m sure that will be the case because the boys know they let themselves down.

“We’d have taken four points from the two Christmas games.

“Obviously we ended up with three but that’s still a respectable tally, given the injury problems and the fact we only hit 11 fit and available players at Kirkley.

“Michael Brothers had to play at centre-half because we were short.”

Brantham head into the new year sitting fourth in the table, eight points clear of fifth-placed Godmanchester Rovers.

They are five points behind Stowmarket Town, ten behind Coggeshall Town and 21 behind Felixstowe and Walton.