Avonmouth's season comes down to the next three encounters
AVONMOUTH'S season will be defined by events over the next three Saturdays as Grant Britton's squad prepare for a vital sequence of matches.
First up for the holders is a Charles Saunders Combination Cup semi-final due to take place tomorrow (2.30pm) at Dings Crusaders.
And on the following two weekends Avonmouth are away to bottom side Maidenhead in National Three South West before returning to Barracks Lane for what could well prove to be a pivotal meeting with fellow relegation battlers Malvern.
Britton said: "It's almost as if we've got three cup finals in three weeks. The boys are confident we can get the right results and stay up, but we've just got to look at things week by week and take the games as they come, rather than focus on the end result."
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Securing promotion last season to the national leagues was arguably the finest moment in the club's 100-year-plus history. And preserving that status would be another tremendous achievement as Avonmouth operate with one of the smallest squads in their division and on a budget that many of their rivals would regard as loose change.
With crucial matches coming thick and fast, something may have to give ... starting with the much anticipated trip to Dings.
At the time of going to press, there was a question mark over whether the tie would go ahead as scheduled because of an internal mix-up at Avonmouth over its date.
With a number of players not available, a final decision was due to be made after a head count at training last night.
In National Two South, meanwhile, Clifton – with only one win from their last nine outings – hope to complete a much-needed double when they travel to second bottom Southend.
It's also an important day for promotion-chasing Old Reds who are away to Clevedon in South West One West. Jed Hooper's side are third, five points behind leaders Camborne but with two games in hand.
Yet Reds will be taking nothing for granted in this local derby, particularly as Clevedon pushed Camborne all the way only two weeks ago before losing a thriller by a point.
At the other end of the table, the pressure is on Cleve, at home to newcomers Chard, to break a run of five successive defeats and ensure they remain clear of the relegation zone.
In Western Counties North, leaders Hornets entertain Keynsham, while second-placed Barton Hill face a potentially tricky test at Bristol Harlequins.
Gloucestershire, meanwhile, will make another attempt to stage their final Under-20 County Championship pool match against North Midlands at Cinderford on Sunday (2.15pm).