January 16, 2019

Roberts planning raid on the Royalists

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Highworth Town face a difficult away trip to Windsor this Saturday as they look to maintain top spot in the Uhlsport Hellenic League writes Nick Taylor.

Jeff Roberts’s side leapfrogged Thatcham Town last weekend back into top spot with their comfortable 3-1 home win over neighbours Fairford Town and now travel to Stag Meadow to face a rejuvenated Windsor side who reached the FA Vase quarter finals stage last week with a 2-0 home victory against Hamble Club.

Although sitting mid-table in ninth , The Royalists are unbeaten in their last six league games and will bring fresh momentum into the contest after their big win on Saturday was followed up on Monday night with a 3-2 away victory at Binfield.

“I watched them on Monday night at Binfield and their manager left a few of their regulars out,” said Roberts on Thursday evening. “To be honest, Binfield were the better side most of the game. Windsor have a decent playing surface so I expect us to be able to get the ball down and play our passing game. Every game now is tough and I need all eleven players turning up on the pitch.”

Roberts will be without the services of striker Ash Edenborough after his red card against Fairford last weekend but has added to his squad this week with the signing of Royal Wootton Bassett striker Lewis Waldon, cousin of recent signing Connor Waldon.

Lewis started the season at Swindon & District side Tawny Owl before moving to the Gerard Buxton Ground and follows another ex-Bassett striker, Rory Sproule,  by moving to The Elms this season.

Roberts also revealed that midfielder John Davoile had left the club this week.

Nick Stanley is set to return to the squad for the trip to Windsor after his partner had returned home after giving birth to their first child, whilst midfielder Ryan O’Hara is away on a skiing trip.

Windsor may include 45-year -old veteran ex-Fulham & Bristol Rovers striker Barry Hayles in their squad. Although not involved last week in the Vase win, Hayles has bagged 10 goals for his latest club this season.

“We’ve just got to take every game as it comes,” added Roberts, “I’m hoping that Brimscombe will do us a favour at Thatcham. We just need to keep injury free and give it our best on Saturday.”

Fairford Town will look to bounce back from last weekend’s derby defeat at Highworth when they welcome promotion hopefuls Bracknell Town to Cinder Lane for their annual Former Players Day,  where ex-players are encouraged to attend the match. There will be a display of Fairford Town soccer memorabilia along with a commemorative match-day programme available on the day.

Visitors Bracknell are playing catch-up on fixtures, having also reached the FA Vase quarter finals last weekend and must win all their games in hand if they are to stand any possible chance of gate-crashing a top two final place in the league standings.

Royal Wootton Bassett are without a fixture this weekend and will next play on Valentine’s night (Wednesday, February 14th )  when Sam Collier takes his side to Fairford Town.

In Division One West, Shrivenham, who now dropped a place to third this week, entertain lowly Shortwood Utd Reserves, having not played last week due to their match being called off.

Shrivvy boss Gareth Davies has called for focus ahead of his side’s clash against 13th-placed Shortwood, saying: “We’re looking forward to the game and both teams are going in to the game fresh having not played last weekend.

“We’re on a good run in the league and that gives us a good platform, but those games are gone and the only thing that really matters is what’s in front of you, so it’s a big game.

“We’ve got to focus on Saturday against tough opponents.  They’ve got some talented players in their group so we won’t underestimate them.  They’ve got a manager who will make sure they’re galvanised and motivated come the game and first and foremost, we’ll have to do the same.”

New College go in search of their first home win of the season when they return to action on Monday night playing  host to Clanfield 85 at Supermarine RFC (kick-off 7:45 pm)

Webb’s wide

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