PENISTONE Church will hope to bounce back from a 5-1 home loss when they face two festive local derbies this week.

They trailed 3-0 to Garforth Town on Friday after 25 minutes in their first game in December.

Antony Brown pulled one back but it was 4-1 at half-time then Garforth added another.

Manager Steve Lenthall said: “It’s as bad as we’ve been all season.

“We started quite well and created chances. They cleared one off the line.

“They were very direct which we knew they would be and we didn’t deal with that at all.

“Too many straight balls killed us and we didn’t follow our markers.

“We need to defend a lot better.

“There were no positives whatever after the first ten minutes.

“It was just abysmal.

“The goals we conceded were shocking. There was no communication - you could hear a pin drop with no one speaking or taking charge.

“Garforth did a really big job on us.

“We can only apologise to the fans and the club.

:It wasn’t good enough from us as coaches or the players.”

Church are 13th with 27 points from 19 games – the halfway point of the campaign – and are eight off the play-off places.

They are now due to face two near neighbours in games expected to draw large crowds over Christmas week.

They host Hallam on Saturday then travel to second-placed AFC Emley on Boxing Day.

Lenthall said: “We need to get the lads back up and buzzing because if we don’t it will be a hard Christmas. We definitely need a reaction.

“We couldn’t have asked for better Christmas fixtures.

“We have Hallam on the 23rd and hopefully we will get a massive crowd.

“Hallam always bring a very big away following.

“It would be great if we had Emley at home on Boxing Day but we’re away which will be another massive game.

“You would hope both crowds will be 600 plus, maybe a lot more.

“We hope the games will be good adverts for the leagues.

“We look forward to the local derbies and they couldn’t happen at a better time for us.”