Old rivals meet again in the SIL
DAVE Shave has seen it all in his time as chairman of Old Newton United.Shave, who has spent around 20 years at the helm, has seen the Kingsley Healthcare SIL side win promotion to the Senior Division three times, including last season as Division One champions.
DAVE Shave has seen it all in his time as chairman of Old Newton United.
Shave, who has spent around 20 years at the helm, has seen the Kingsley Healthcare SIL side win promotion to the Senior Division three times, including last season as Division One champions.
Old Newton pipped Achilles by four points to take the title, although Ipswich-based Achilles exacted their revenge by winning the Suffolk Junior Cup against Old Newton 5-2 after extra time at Portman Road.
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The two sides meet again tomorrow at Achilles' Stone Lodge Lane ground on the second weekend of the season after experiencing differing fortunes on last Saturday's opening day.
Achilles recorded a 1-0 win at Melton St Audrys while Old Newton's first match back in the Senior Division ended in a 3-2 defeat at home to Crane Sports, who finished third last season after challenging eventual winners Grundisburgh for much of the campaign.
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Shave said: “It was a good game, but we felt we were a bit unfortunate to lose. I thought we edged it, but a couple of refereeing decisions didn't go our way. We had two or three players missing because of holidays, but everyone should be available this weekend.
“Last year in the league we won away to Achilles and they won at our place. We were pretty close - there was not much between the two teams last season, although I gather they have strengthened since then.
“But we are looking forward to meeting Achilles again - they are a well-organised club with a good ground, good pitch and a good clubhouse.”
Old Newton do not pay any of their players, meaning they are not competing on a level playing field against several SIL clubs, but Shave said the village side are optimistic about their chances this season.
“We have got to be realistic about our expectations, but we will be looking to finish about half-way. With the players we have got I don't think we will struggle to stay in the Senior Division.”