Huge weekend ahead for Leiston

THE Ridgeons Premier League enters 2010 with its first fixtures of the season this weekend.Here PHIL GRIFFITHS takes a look at all the action . . . go and enjoy a game.

THE Ridgeons Premier League enters 2010 with its first fixtures of the season this weekend.

Here PHIL GRIFFITHS takes a look at all the action . . . go and enjoy a game.

CRC 2nd v Haverhill Rovers 15th.

CRC have played just eight of their 21 fixtures at the Abbey Stadium and have dropped just two points on home turf. They start the new decade two points off the leaders with six home games in their next eight fixtures. It looks a daunting task for a Rovers side, despite having a good Christmas and picking up some useful away results as they face a side unbeaten, since the opening day of the season.

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Debenham LC 8th v Wroxham 11th

THE Hornets are enjoying their first Premier season having risen from junior football to level five in the last decade and look assured of maintaining their status in 2010. They have a good home record but will face a stiff examination against a side capable of beating anyone on their day. The Yachtsmen have taken points off three of the top five sides in December and with games in hand will be looking to make a positive move up the table starting here. The home side do not lack confidence and manager Mel Aldis will be relishing the challenge.

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Dereham Town 9th v Kirkley & Pakefield 5th

THE Magpies have been inconsistent this season when many fancied them to mount a title challenge. They lost five of their opening ten fixtures but have lost just three since. They are quietly climbing the table and have moved into the top ten with some quality displays although there is still an inconsistency in their game. The visitors had an excellent Christmas to climb into the top echelon of the table and now have three games on the road. This could be match of the day with both sides capable of turning on flowing football for the spectators.

Ely City 17th v Wisbech Town 10th

THE Robins start 2010 on the back of an unbeaten five-match run and last lost at The Unwin Ground back in mid-October, so will pose plenty of problems for the visiting Fenmen. Wisbech saw an unbeaten nine match run ended by the leaders who hit five, quickly followed by Mildenhall hitting six, both games on the road so they will be looking to avoid an unwanted hat-trick here.

Felixstowe & Walton 7th v Woodbridge Town 19th

THE home side have a good record at Dellwood with just one defeat and have taken points off all the top five sides so will be looking to carry their form into the New Year as they enjoy their highest festive position in a decade. The visitors have lost their last 15 league games and are in a real relegation dogfight. The form book does not always produce the expected result between these two neighbours and the Woodpeckers, with former Seasiders coach Mark Scopes in the hot seat, will need no pre-match lecture to get them in the mood.

Harwich & Parkeston 21st v Stanway Rovers 4th

STANWAY and Wivenhoe played the final Ridgeons League game of decade and Rovers now open 2010 against basement side Harwich & Parkeston. It was a 2-0 win for Stanway on Wednesday and puts them within touching distance of Leiston with two games in hand. Sam Newson hit both to make it 29 goals from 21 and he looks favourite to get the goal scoring plaudits this season. Home side Harwich can only keep plugging away and hope that they can pick up points along the way.

Mildenhall Town 6th v Newmarket Town 14th

MILDENHALL have hit top form in the last month and go into 2010 on the back of four straight wins, the points have lifted them into sixth and they will be confident of carrying that form into the new decade. The visitors have won twice on their travels but have lost seven and this is the first of six away games in a row. The Jockeys have scored 16 times on their travel while conceding 22 and face a home side that have scored 25 and conceded 17 at RecWay so the betting would be against a goal-less encounter.

Needham Market 1st v Leiston 3rd

THIS is the Match of the Day and could be a defining 90 minutes in Leiston's season. Defeat for the Victory Road side could see any lingering title ambitions disappear. Just two points from a possible 15 has seen them drop off the title pace. They face a Needham side unbeaten at home who have dropped just two points from the last 15. The home side cannot afford to slip-up with CRC close on their heels so this has the makings of a highly charged encounter.

Norwich United 18th v Walsham-le-Willows 12th

THE home side have picked up just one point from their last six games and sit just above the relegation spots, although 15 points clear of trouble. They have won just twice at home and have been inconsistent over the first half of the season, manager Paul Chick has strengthened his squad in recent weeks and will be looking for an improvement in the new decade. Walsham manager Paul Smith has produced a competitive side with an excellent team spirit who fear no-one and will make this a difficult game for the Planters, they have won four times on their travels scoring 21 times so will be looking for a result here.

Wivenhoe Town 20th v Hadleigh United 13th

THE relegation battle looks to be a three club fight with Wivenhoe one of the trio. They did beat bottom side Harwich on Boxing Day and have run several sides close in recent weeks, if they can pick up home points they could escape the drop. Hadleigh are in a mid-table pack where results either way could see large positional swings. Hadleigh also beat Harwich two days after The Dragons and with their excellent work rate they will make it very difficult for the home side.

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