SIL PREVIEW: Wickham Market v Haughley United
Wickham Market manager Nigel Lennard is expecting an enthralling game against Haughley United this weekend.
Wickham currently sit in 10th position in the SIL Senior Division but are only three points behind opponents Haughley, who lie in fifth.
In a closely fought league where there are five other teams also battling on or around the same amount of points, victory for Wickham, in Lennard’s eyes, is essential for them to keep in this mid-table battle.
“The game gives us a great chance to keep up with the rest of the pack,” said Lennard.
“We’ve had an indifferent start but we’ve won our last two so we’ve finally hit a bit of form.”
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Wickham lost their first three league matches but have gradually started to turn their season around with four wins in their last seven to put them into this frantic mid-table melee.
And although it has been a frustrating and topsy-turvy season for Lennard so far, he is hoping that his side are now over the hill and can concentrate on climbing the league.
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“It’s hard to sum our season up in words,” continued Lennard.
“We beat Leiston St Margarets who were high-flying at the time but then next week end up losing at home to bottom of the table Westerfield.
“Having said that we’ve just added four quality players in Luke Hillyard, Adam Nuttall, Jon Ince and Sam Baker so I’m feeling more confident now.”
Saturday’s opponents Haughley pipped Wickham to fourth last year by two points and Lennard is eagerly anticipating the fixture.
“We always seem to have really good games against Haughley,” Lennard continued.
“We have a pretty equal record against each other in recent years and are pretty evenly matched.
“I think the first goal is crucial in this game as it allows you to build a platform on.”
Interestingly, both these sides have yet to draw a game this season so maybe a goal-fest is on the cards after all.
In the weekend’s other games in the division, leaders Achilles welcome struggling East Bergholt, Stanton visit Coplestonians, Cranes host Felixstowe Harpers and Leiston St Margarets entertain Capel Plough.
Rock-bottom Westerfield host Wenhaston while fellow strugglers Melton face Grundisburgh.
Old Newton are also up against it with a trip to second-placed Ipswich Valley Rangers.