Bottom side Woodbridge Town host title-challenging Brightlingsea Regent in a big game for both sides in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division
- Credit: Archant
Being at completely opposite ends of the table with very different ambitions to play for in the remainder of the season, you might think of promotion-chasing Brightlingsea Regent’s trip to Woodbridge Town, who have occupied bottom spot of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division for the majority of the season, as an ‘away banker’ in your betting coupon.
However, according to both teams respective managers, that is not the case.
After all, the Woodpeckers are battling for their lives down at the foot of the table, and although results have still continued to largely desert them, there has been a drastic upturn in performances.
As for Brightlingsea, well, they are enjoying a fantastic season, surprising a host of clubs along the way as they look to push Hadleigh United all the way for the league title.
Following promotion into this division last year, nobody other than the most avid of Regent fans would’ve thought that the Essex-based outfit had a genuine shot for the Premier Division title this season, but they do.
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A quick look at the league table shows what a big game this is for both clubs.
A victory for Woodbridge would see them heap the pressure on second-bottom side Wivenhoe Town as the Woodpeckers look to perform the great escape.
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“This game gives us the perfect opportunity to react from the disappointing defeat to Diss (1-3) last time out,” said Woodbridge boss Lee Elliston.
“That was probably the worst we’ve played since I took charge and I want the players to react.
“Following this game we go into two huge games against Clacton and Thetford, so I hope we can at least go into those two with confidence gained against Brightlingsea.”
Although Woodbridge find themselves in a position where they only have results to blame, Elliston feels luck has deserted them recently.
“I’m still getting over the last three or four games if I’m honest,” added Elliston.
“In my opinion, we were hugely unlucky in the 1-0 defeats to Newmarket and Gorleston.
“We were on the rough end of some bad decisions and like I’ve said before, you don’t get that slice of luck down at the bottom of the table.
“We haven’t got what we’ve deserved recently, but we keep on picking ourselves up - we’ve not given up, and are not going to give up.
“Brightlingsea have many good attributes but if we can perform like we have been and get that slice of luck we deserve, then who knows, we could get a very positive result.”
Although Saturday might look like an impossible mission for Elliston’s side, they will draw confidence from their opponents’ 2-2 draw with lowly-placed Clacton in mid-week, a result that frustrated Regent boss James Webster.
He said: “It was a disappointing result.
“Derby games are always fiery and both teams were up for it. We were 2-0 up and then sloppiness got them back in the game and in the end they could’ve nicked it.
“I’m expecting a similar game against Woodbridge.
“Okay, so they haven’t got the results they’ve wanted but they’ve tightened up and look much harder to beat.”
Brightlingsea have three games in hand on leaders Hadleigh and will more than likely have to win them all if they are to steal the division from under the Brettsiders’ noses.
“The main thing for us is not the title, it’s promotion, and we’ve got 10 games left to do that,” added Webster.