Black relishing chance to upset title favourites
ANDY Black sees no reason why his in-form Cadbury Heath side cannot give title favourites Buckland Athletic a run for their money tomorrow.
Heath host the Devon outfit in the Premier Division's match of the day and will be in confident mood after carving out a resounding 4-1 win at Odd Down last weekend.
Black has sounded out Bath City boss Adie Britton, whose Blue Square South players were given a scare before beating Buckland 2-1 in the FA Cup seven days ago, and believes his improving team can cause an upset.
"Adie gave me the lowdown on them and I am under no illusions – we are going to be in for a very tough game," he said. "Buckland ran Bath close and they have some very good players. But we are in good form, are second in the league and will relish the challenge.
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"Buckland have only played three games because of cup commitments, but they are favourites to win the league and I think a lot of other clubs will be hoping we can take points off them." Mark Cherry returns for Heath, but Chris Ashley and David Doe are still injured and Rob Scott is un available.
Hallen boss Paul Owen has good reason to want his side to beat Bitton tomorrow – in all his years as a manager and player, he cannot recall being on the winning side in a Western League fixture at the Recreation Ground.
"I don't know what it is about playing at Bitton, but it's about time I put that record straight," said Owen, whose side returned to form when trouncing Radstock 4-0 last time out.
Ricky Boulton returns to bolster Hallen's defence, but Asa Corrick has been recalled by Gloucester City.
Bitton include ex-Frome Town left-back Greg Lake, who made his debut earlier this month.
Manager John Lester said: "Matches between Hallen and Bitton are always close. They have a great team spirit and are a hard nut to crack."
Leaders Brislington travel to Street intent upon putting the record straight after being held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Barnstaple last time out.
Player-coach Lee Perks said: "Our biggest problem is that we think we only have to turn up to beat the bottom sides. Last week proved that is not the case.
"We did not play very well, but we are still unbeaten and we have a good enough squad to bounce back."
Centre-back Jason Hughes is still recovering from a fractured cheekbone and will not travel.
Longwell Green Sports boss Spencer Thomas has called up experienced striker Dave Parnell from the reserves to bolster his attack at Barnstaple.
Fellow striker Ben Crew is also available and Thomas said: "We're looking to give young Charlie Stevens a bit more support up front. Dave Parnell was not fit at the start of the season, but he's been banging the goals in for the reserves and deserves his chance."
Bristol Manor Farm manager John Black is confident his young side can climb away from the foot of the table.
Gillingham provide the opposition at The Creek tomorrow and Black said: "The boys are learning and are still a bit naive. But I would not be here if I did not think we could get ourselves up the table."
Black has lodged a seven-day notice of approach for Winterbourne United forward Ashley Knight, while Scott Feltham returns after missing last week's game at Bridport.
Winterbourne United host Bridport with their confidence boosted by a much-needed victory at Odd Down in midweek.