Let's get out the danger-zone, says DRG Frenchay manager Dave Johnson
DAVE Johnson is braced for his DRG Frenchay team's biggest game of the season so far when they host fellow strugglers Berkeley Town tomorrow.
DRG are second from bottom, four points clear of bottom-of-the-table Berkeley, and with three games in hand.
But, if any teams are to be relegated from the County League this season, Johnson wants to make sure his team are not in the danger-zone.
"This has got to be our biggest game of the season so far," said Johnson. "It's a must-win game – we really can't afford not to get anything from this game.
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"Make no bones about it, we are in the mire at the moment, which is frustrating because everybody I speak to says, 'How on earth are you down there? You play some good football and you're strong'. But we are not getting the run of the ball."
Ash Hudd should return from an ankle injury but a scan has revealed Joe Maynard has fractured his tibia and damaged knee ligaments. He initially thought he had only twisted the knee but is now ruled out for the rest of this season and much of next.
Rockleaze Rangers manager Carmelo Micciche has been delighted with his team's response to losing two games in a row.
Rockleaze won five games in succession before suffering back-to-back defeats against Bishop's Cleeve Reserves and Thornbury Town.
They have since beaten Patchway Town and Kingswood – and travel to Bristol Academy tomorrow.
Micciche, whose team are fourth but 12 points off the top with three games in hand, said: "It's up to our lads to carry that run on, because there is a big gap to the top sides. There's no doubt I'd rather be in Southmead's position than ours. They may have played five games more but they also have ten points more – and points in the bag are so crucial."
Scott Gibson believes his Chipping Sodbury Town team can challenge for the title next season after their recent improvement. After losing nine of their opening 11 games, Sodbury have won seven and drawn three of their last 14.
They travel to Hanham Athletic tomorrow – and boss Gibson said: "I'm still looking to finish in the top eight this season. It's all about gelling the squad – and I'd say we're about 75 per cent there on that front. By next season, though, we should be about 90 per cent there and I can see us being strong contenders to win the league."
Hanham welcome Adam Grinter, James Shipman and Craig Stone back for tomorrow's game, but Billy Fletcher has left to join Cadbury Heath.
Thornbury Town face Henbury tomorrow – and hope to have signed Henbury's Ben Sandle in time to face them. Manager Bill Bond said: "The seven days' notice has gone in for Ben and, hopefully, he will come on board."
Patchway Town will aim to maintain their bid for silverware when they host Taverners in the Les James League Cup.