Ridgeons League Premier Division preview
Whatever happens in this weekend’s fixtures the title chase will definitely go into the last week of the season.
CRC 1ST V 7TH FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED
See ‘Match of the Day’ preview.
ELY CITY 10th V 8TH WROXHAM
The home side are finishing the season strongly and won the reverse fixture at Trafford Park 12 days ago, since then they have played just once while their visitors have played four times, winning two and losing two. With a relentless three games a week, the schedule has taken its toll on the Yachtsmen but they are always capable of producing results and will not want to suffer a second defeat against The Robins.
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HAVERHILL ROVERS 13th V 18th HISTON RES.
These sides met a month ago at The Glassworld Stadium with Rovers edging a close encounter 1-0 and this could be just as close, a 1-0 midweek win for the home side at Newmarket lifted them a couple of places while The Stute’s young second string lost narrowly at home on Wednesday to leave them in the bottom three but maximum points here could lift them up at least one place!
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LEISTON 3rd v 17th HADLEIGH UNITED
There is one clear objective for the home side, win, or their title hopes have gone and it will be a two-horse race. Even with victory they will still have to rely on other results and both sides above them will have to drop points today. Brettsiders manager Peter Grant will not need to motivate his side for this encounter as they will relish the challenge in their last game of the season, but their recent record is not good with just one point from the last six games and they may struggle to improve on that here!
MILDENHALL TOWN 5th v 4th KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD
Another big game, The ‘Hall need the points as they can still be knocked off their fifth place while The Royals could theoretically still finish third, although other games today will clarify that situation. Kirkley have lost their last two games, both on the road, and will want to finish their away games on a high with a big match coming up on Wednesday. This is Mildenhall’s final league game of the season and they will not want to finish on a low so there is the potential for an open game with both sides going for the three points!
NEEDHAM MARKET 2nd v 9th WOODBRIDGE TOWN
Manager Danny Laws knows what is required, the title is theirs if they win their remaining three games, but they have two tough trips after this, so can afford nothing but a win here. On paper it looks a home banker but Mark Scopes has got his young side playing with a freedom that has brought some positive recent results, including a win over CRC, and they will be eager for the fray here to show what they can do.
NEWMARKET TOWN 16th V 9th WISBECH TOWN
This looks like a mid-table end-of-season clash, but neither club will see it that way, The Jockeys drew at Outwell ten days ago and will want to improve on that in their last home game while The Fenmen need points to ensure a top-ten finish. They lost for the first time in eight on Tuesday when they were beaten at home by the current leaders and the draw at home to Newmarket ended a run of four straight wins so both will feel they have plenty to play for.
STANWAY ROVERS 6th V 12th WALSHAM LE WILLOWS
Another game where the result could define the top-six finishers, Stanway have The Seasiders breathing down their necks and need points to keep them above the seventh-placed side. Paul Smith has this and next week’s game left as manager at Summer Road and will want to end his reign on a high. A result at The Hawthorns would certainly go a long way to achieving that!
WIVENHOE TOWN 20th V 11TH DEREHAM TOWN
The Dragons are effectively doomed to Division One football next season unless politics take a hand and returned from a 140-mile round trip to Trafford Park on Thursday with a narrow defeat against their record. They have a young squad who will face another difficult game here against a side that saw an eight-match unbeaten run ended at Maitlands on Tuesday. Dereham are just outside the top ten and will be disappointed with their season and want to finish on a high. It is difficult to see the home side gaining anything here.