Ridgeons League preview
PHIL Griffiths previews this weekend's Ridgeons League Premier Division matchesCRC 1ST v 16TH HADLEIGH UNITEDTHIS is the home side's sixth consecutive home game with four straight wins before being held to a draw in midweek by Stanway.
PHIL Griffiths previews this weekend's Ridgeons League Premier Division matches
CRC 1ST v 16TH HADLEIGH UNITED
THIS is the home side's sixth consecutive home game with four straight wins before being held to a draw in midweek by Stanway. That draw used up their game in hand and leaves them five points clear of Needham Market with 13 games left including this one. Hadleigh have won six times this season, the last of those was back in October since when they have picked up just five points from a possible 30 and will face a difficult afternoon here. The Scholars know they cannot afford too many slip ups and will be looking for maximum points while The Brettsiders will be looking forward to playing at The Abbey Stadium.
ELY CITY14TH v 8TH FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED
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THE Robins picked up an excellent midweek win at home to sixth-placed Mildenhall and will be looking to make it a good weekend with another win here. The home side have suffered just three defeats since November with only the top three sides lowering their colours in the last eleven games. Their visitors lost a couple of places last week with their big defeat at Walmer Road and will be looking to regain some ground here. The Unwin Ground is always a difficult venue although the Seasiders will be looking for a repeat of last season's result when they collected all three points.
KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD 5TH v 11TH WISBECH TOWN
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THE Royals are certainly one of the in-form sides at the moment although they lost a place in mid-week without playing. Five wins and a draw in their last six fixtures that include three 4-0 victories sees them within range of third-placed Leiston, if they win their four games in hand. The Fenmen have won just once in their last five games but will be looking to impress the new management here. They will do well to take anything away from Walmer Road where the Royals have lost just twice this season and conceded just eight goals.
LEISTON 3RD v 9TH DEREHAM TOWN
THE reverse fixture back in October saw the home side hit The Magpies for six and they would love to repeat that here as they chase the top two, they have played two more games than those above them but will feel they are catchable if they keep winning. Dereham conceded four at home to Kirkley in their last league game and suffered a semi-final defeat in the Norfolk Senior Cup a week ago so will need to pick themselves up and should see this as a good challenge against a side chasing honours.
NORWICH UNITED 18TH v 13TH DEBENHAM LC
Although just above the 'possible' relegation spots the home side have a massive 20-point cushion over the bottom side and a victory here could put them within three points of their visitors. They haven't lost in their last three including a notable draw last week at home to the fourth-placed side. Debenham have seen a loss of form that has brought five straight defeats and will be looking to end that sequence here. They have failed to score in four of their last five games so are likely to find it tough going against a side looking for a strong finish to the season.
STANWAY ROVERS 4TH v 2ND NEEDHAM MARKET
THIS must be 'Match of the Day' with the home side full of confidence after their midweek draw against the league leaders at The Abbey Stadium and they will be looking forward to getting a similar result, or better, against the second-placed team inside four days. They have lost just once in their last ten with that record stretching back to early November and moved back into fourth place with that midweek result. The Marketmen are a formidable side to face with plenty of interest left in their season on several fronts. They know they have to keep winning to keep the pressure on the leaders and the status quo against third-placed Leiston so will not be travelling the 27miles looking for anything other than three points.
WALSHAM LE WILLOWS 10TH v 7TH HAVERHILL ROVERS
INCONSISTENT Walsham have picked up two wins in the last fortnight following four straight defeats and are difficult to predict, but they will look to collect three points on home soil against a side playing away from Hamlet Croft for the first time since the turn of the year. Victory could put them within two points of their visitors with games in hand. Rovers have suffered just two defeats in their last nine games and those against the top two sides, so they will travel to Summer Road looking for a positive result. Like the home side they have won their last two games and will want to extend that sequence here and maintain their top ten spot.
WIVENHOE TOWN 20TH v 17TH HISTON RES
THE Dragons certainly have plenty to play for even though they languish at the foot of the table, with it likely there will be just one side relegated they are close enough to the side above them to mount a real challenge in the coming weeks. It will be a battle to gain anything from this match but they face a side that have lost their last four and are without a win since November so will look forward to this match with expectations.
WOODBRDGE TOWN 19TH v 15TH NEWMARKET TOWN
THE home side are in that relegation battle with Wivenhoe, they have yet to win at home this season and with the likelihood of three points being taken from them they are dangerously close to the bottom club. They face a side who have won their last two, but who are unpredictable. Both like to get the ball down and play with The Jockeys having scored 14 times on the road while The Woodpeckers have conceded 40 times at Notcutts Park.
WROXHAM 12TH v 6TH MILDENHALL TOWN
THIS will be almost a novel experience for the Yachtsmen as they play their first home league game since November 28 when they lost to Newmarket. They have played just four league games since then with the last of them at the turn of the year. They have at least seven league games to fit in just to get on level terms with the top four and will find it difficult to catch them from their mid-table position. Their visitors suffered a shock defeat at The Unwin Ground in mid-week, but it was their first loss since November and they will want to take something from this game to maintain the ten-point gap between the two sides. 'Hall manager Simon Charlton has strengthened his squad this week as he looks for a strong finish to the campaign.