HOLYPORT manager Barry Rake believes that fit-again Paul Rake has been the key to their five-match unbeaten run in Hellenic Division One East this season.

Paul Rake (pictured above) was ruled out with injury earlier in the season, during which time Port managed just two wins from nine matches in all competitions.

The striker and son of boss Barry returned in November to help the Summerleaze club to two wins and two draws, leaving them in seventh position in the league table.

Holyport manager Barry Rake told the Observer: “When Paul got injured in mid-September we only won twice but since he’s been back we’ve been unbeaten.

“When you miss your main goal scorer you’re going to struggle and at any level it has an effect on form.

“When Paul was injured we did struggle for goals although the whole team has played well since and I’ve been pleased with how it’s gone.

“We had a difficult start mainly because we had a few new players who had to get used to the system. We started off pretty average but since then it has gone well and we have competition for places.

“We’ve had a few postponements but have not lost since November so it’s going well. We’re scoring goals and not conceding many.”

Rake continued: “After Saturday there is only nine league games left so I’m not sure we can get a higher position but I’m pleased with how it’s looking.

“If we can finish fifth or sixth or any higher than we would have done well. We will try to push on but I will be happy to finish where we are.”

Port welcome Thame Rangers to Summerleaze Village this Saturday (3pm) but will be without their star striker Paul Rake, who has now scored 12 goals in 10 matches this season.

Manager Barry Rake said: “Paul is unavailable which will make it a bit more difficult but we will see how we go.

“Thame had a bit of a poor start but have picked up a lost so it will be a tough game and 50/50 on paper.”