PURTON manager Justin Miller has his fingers crossed that his side will be able to hit the ground running on their return to action this weekend.

On Saturday, the villagers host Shortwood United Reserves in what will be their first fixture for three weeks, with Miller’s men, who saw a trip to Tytherington Rocks rained off last weekend, last playing when they beat Clanfield 85’ 2-1 on January 28.

Enforced mid-season breaks are nothing new in the Hellenic League and while he is unsure if his troops will return with the proverbial cobwebs to shake off, Miller is hopeful that Purton will be revved up at the Red House.

“It’s been a few weeks and you never know how it’s going to be when you come back,” said the Purton boss, whose team are currently sixth in the Division One West table.

“Maybe, the break will have done us good. We’ll be aiming to start the game well and get the ball moving quickly early on.

“It’s just one of those things – we’ve had seasons before where we’ve had six-week breaks, so it’s something that you have to deal with sometimes.

“We’d won two in a row, so we’ll be looking to try and get the three points to move us closer to where we want to be.

“We always have tight games against Shortwood, so it’s an important game, but hopefully we’re ready for it.”

Aaron Stevens is Purton’s only injury doubt ahead of their clash with Shortwood.

Elsewhere, league leaders Fairford Town will be looking to increase their advantage at the top of the table when they go to eighth-placed North Leigh.

Gareth Davies’ men, who are unbeaten in their last six outings, thrashed their Oxfordshire counterparts 5-0 earlier in the season, and while third-placed Hook Norton aren’t in action, Fairford will be hoping for a favour from New College, who travel to second-placed Cirencester Town Development.

Shrivenham renew hostilities with Easington Sports, having only drawn 1-1 with the Clan in Banbury last Saturday.

Their trip to Hook Norton in the first round of Supplementary Cup on Wednesday night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.