HELLENIC LEAGUE: Three's a crowd for Wootton Bassett boss Turner
6:00am Friday 4th January 2013 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, email@example.com, @AndyWarren_
WOOTTON Bassett boss Dave Turner has insisted the Division One West promotion race is not a two-horse race as his side prepare to face Carterton.
Bassett currently sit three points behind leaders Brimscombe & Thrupp but with a game in hand, and a cluster of teams are lurking at least nine points further back.
Tomorrow’s opponents are one of those sides, and despite the cushion Turner believes his side need to keep looking over their shoulder and not just concentrate on the team above them.
“We are in a good position, because our aim was to come out of Christmas in contention, and that is what we are, one of a few teams in contention for promotion,” he said.
“We are serious about wanting to go up, but we can’t afford to think it is just a two-horse race because it isn’t, there are a number of teams below us who can come up from behind.
“If we take our eyes off the ball we can easily get into trouble, and we need to focus.
“Carterton are a side I have an awful lot of time for, and it will be a tough game that’s for sure.”
Another side in the pack behind the top two are Fairford, and manager Paul Braithwaite is looking for revenge over Clanfield tomorrow after suffering defeat when the two sides met earlier in the season.
“Our target this season was to take points of every team in the league this season, but they beat us earlier in the season so there is a little bit of revenge there,” he said.
“We want to get three points back on them, because when we played them earlier in the season they won with probably the last kick of the game.
“About five of their players were offside too when the ball came back in from a corner, but we want to go and get the win now.
“Pete Osborne has gone back to the club and have given them all a bit of a boost, so they will be looking to climb up the league, so it will be a hard game for sure.”
The weather has meant Clanfield have not been in action since December 8, and Braithwaite is keen to take advantage of their lack of match practice.
“We are lucky because we have managed to get all of our home games on, but I don’t think they have played since the start of December which could really help us,” he said.
“Our players have had a few games so they should be ready for it, and we need to take advantage if they are not.”
Braithwaite will have to do without striker Nathan Gambling who is suspended, and Colin Curtis who is still in Spain.