DIDCOT Town boss Andy Ballard is backing his side to bounce back from their midweek defeat at Bromsgrove Sporting when they make the short trip to derby rivals Thame United tomorrow.

Both sides occupy play-off spots in Division 1 Central of the Evo-Stik South League and a mouth-watering match is in prospect.

Ballard, who has a full-strength squad available, said: “Our eight-game unbeaten run was ended by Bromsgrove, but they are a really strong side.

“We’re really looking forward to the Thame match. It’s a derby against another side that are doing well.

“While it won’t shape our season as such, I view it as an opportunity to start another winning run, but we know it won’t be easy.”

Thame boss Mark West is also relishing the clash.

“We ground out a result at North Leigh last week,” he said. “We didn’t play particularly well, but dug deep.

“We will need to improve. I think Didcot have a very good squad. I’m sure they will be in the play-offs. If we can get something out of the game I will be really pleased.

“Hopefully our strikers will be on form next week, because they weren’t on top of their game last week.

“Before we played Corby in November, we were six off the bottom, but we’ve put in some great performances lately.

“Whether we can hold on to a play-off spot, I’m not so sure, but hopefully Didcot will be a good game.”

North Leigh joint boss Craig Dore hopes his side’s excellent performance last weekend can stand them in good stead when they entertain play-off chasing Berkhamsted.

The Millers were beaten by two late goals against Thame and Dore is urging his young side to stay positive.

He said: “I thought we dominated, but missed chances and two defensive mistakes proved the difference.

“If we can keep producing performances like last week, I am sure we will get out of trouble.

“We just need the rub of the green and hopefully the results to come.

“We don’t fear Berkhamsted. I know we have quality to win us some games. We just need to eliminate these silly mistakes.”

Kidlington travel to Sutton Coldfield Town looking to end their dismal run of six successive league defeats.

Elliott Osborne-Ricketts (ankle) is out while Mark Janes is missing due to the birth of his child.

Kidlington and North Leigh occupy the bottom two places, but there is now only one relegation place to avoid after Aylesbury confirmed they would drop a division with their changing rooms not meeting FA criteria.

Banbury United boss Mike Ford is looking for his side to cut out individual errors as they prepare to host high-flying Coalville Town in Premier Division Central.

A 2-0 defeat at leaders Stourbridge last week disappointed the Puritans manager, but he is looking for a quick reaction against a Coalville side that are just outside the play-offs.

Ford, who names an unchanged squad, said: “We need to start keeping a few more clean sheets.

“Individual errors have cost us recently, and we have to play to our strengths and get back to basics.”

Banbury’s last home game saw them put six goals past Barwell, and Ford knows his side are capable in attack.

“We’re obviously not going to score six, but we have plenty of attacking prowess,” he said.

“If we can put that with more solidity at the back, we will do fine.”


Thame Utd (v Didcot Tn, home): from Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Essex, Gledhill, Ashworth, Tack, L Goss, Sturgess, West, Peake-Pijnen, Martin, Tutton, Jewell, A Goss.

Didcot Tn (v Thame Utd): from Bedwell, Barder, McNeill, Hayden, Carnell, Learoyd, Dennis, McNish, L Williams, Humphries, Hackett, M Williams, Ballard, Gardner, Murphy, Taverner.

North Leigh (v Berkhamsted, home): from Cavanagh, Ngathe, Peart, Linford-Pill, Gunn, A Grant, R James, H Grant, Seacole, Landers, Alabi, Pin, D James, Simms, Martei.

Kidlington (v Sutton Coldfield Tn, away): from Warrell, Castle, Quainton, Carbon, Bernasconi, Organ, Franklin, Martin, Gabbidon, Willoughby, Benjamin, Tooke, Singh, Janes, Browne, Odhiambo, Williams, Stanbridge, Cowlishaw, Thorne.

Banbury Utd (v Coalville Tn, home): from Agboola, Taylor, Nash, Wise, Shamsi, Johnson, Awadh, Odhiambo, Kaziboni, Whitehead, Rasulo, Hottor, Diggin, Henderson, Macdonald, Timms.