PLAY-OFF hopefuls Didcot Town face one of their toughest tests of the season when they entertain leaders Peterborough Sports tomorrow.

The Railwaymen strengthened their hopes of finishing in Division 1 Central’s top five with a 3-0 win at struggling Dunstable Town last week.

Didcot sit six points inside the play-offs with eight games of the regular Evo-Stik South League season to play.

Ballard is expecting a difficult afternoon against the table-toppers, but believes his side should not be lacking in self-belief.

He said: “I was really impressed with our performance last weekend.

“Regardless of the opposition, we played with the right intensity throughout and made the right decisions.

“It was a display that should give us plenty of confidence against Peterborough.

“We have had them watched and they are a top-quality side, but I believe if we can match their work-rate and desire, we have enough quality in the squad to get something from the game.”

Adam Learoyd, Seth Humphries, Lewis Hayden and John Dennis are available following injury and suspension, but Pablo Haysham is ruled out following a recurrence of his knee problem.

Ballard added: “These are the sort of games we should look forward to.

“Playing against the leaders will show where we are as a team, and we are really looking forward to the challenge.”

Thame United are only a point outside the play-off places, but manager Mark West believes his side face an uphill battle to finish in the top five.

They head to Barton Rovers, bidding to end a two-match winless run.

Thame dropped out of the play-offs after conceding a late goal in last weekend’s draw with third-placed Corby Town.

Bedford Town occupy the last spot at the moment, with West’s side among five teams within just two points.

But the Thame boss, who names an unchanged squad, feels his side have been punching above their weight.

He said: “Anything’s possible, but it’s a tough ask for us.

“We can’t just go and sign six players and strengthen like a few teams have around us.

“But we’ve got a good squad.

“Who knows, if we have a little run all of a sudden we’ll start thinking about it again, but our aim is to finish as high as we can.

“If we finish in the top ten it would be a really good achievement.”

Kidlington could climb out of the relegation zone if they avoid defeat at home to Berkhamsted.

Only goal difference is keeping the side in the bottom two.

But manager Julian McCalmon is refusing to be distracted by any permutations.

He said: “There’s a lot of football to play and we believe on our day we’re a match for anyone.

“I’ve asked the players not to look at the table.

“I know we’re still in the bottom two, but I couldn’t tell you how far or how close we are to the next team.

“We’re concentrating on ourselves.”

Top-scorer Anaclet Odhiambo (knee) faces a late fitness test, while Harry Williams (ankle) is ruled out for the rest of the season.

Jack Quainton is away, but Elliott Osborne-Ricketts returns.

Bottom side North Leigh are three points adrift of safety and will be looking to record back-to-back victories when they travel to Corby.

In Premier Division Central, Banbury United face a trip to Tamworth, looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at leaders Kettering Town.

The Puritans conceded three goals after having Edmund Hottor sent off.

But boss Mike Ford refuses to be disheartened by the result.

He said: “We took loads of positives from that game because with 11 men they couldn’t get the ball off us.

“In the space of two minutes we had a player sent off and conceded a really poor goal – that knocked the stuffing out of us.

“But we played with ten men for more than hour and our attitude was exemplary.”

Charlie Hawtin (ankle) is out, but Harry Whitehead and Ricky Johnson return.


Didcot Tn (v Peterborough Sports, home): from Bedwell, Barder, Carnell, McNeill, Learoyd, M Williams, Hayden, McNish, Hackett, Barcelos, Dennis, L Williams, Thomas, Gardner, Reid.

Thame Utd (v Barton Rov, away): from Hill, Lynn, Essex, Tutton, Tack, L Goss, Sturgess, West, Ashworth, Martin, Evans, Murray, Gledhill, Peake-Pijnen, Fasanmade, Carter.

Kidlington (v Berkhamsted, home): Warrell, Castle, Bernasconi, Franklin, Martin, Gabbidon, Willoughby, Osborne-Ricketts, Benjamin, Coyle, Tooke, Browne, Brooks, Odhiambo, Jordan.

Banbury Utd (Tamworth, away): Harding, Taylor, Nash, Wise, Shamsi, Iaciofano, Awadh, Henderson, Odhiambo, Rasulo, Finch, Kaziboni, Anaele, Macdonald, Heapy, Whitehead, Johnson.