HELLENIC LEAGUE: Fairford boss won't underestimate Letcombe
5:30am Friday 7th March 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
FAIRFORD Town manager Paul Braithwaite does not expect his side to steam-roller Hellenic League Division One West basement boys Letcombe tomorrow.
The Cinder Lane side currently sit in third place in the table, hot on the heels of Shortwood United.
But despite coming up against a side who have only four points and have conceded 77 goals after 19 matches, Braithwaite is convinced that it will still be a tough game for his team.
“If we win by more than two goals, I’ll be surprised,” he said. “Letcombe will come here and work their socks and make it hard.
“We have been working on our play in the final third of the pitch in training this week, so hopefully we will be able to see that in a game situation.
“But we need to play better than we did in our last game (against Tuffley Rovers) and control the match.”
Braithwaite will be without four first-team regulars against the division’s cellar-dwellers with Nathan Hawkins, Adam Smith, Martin Stratford and Jack Williams all unavailable.
“We are having to call up couple of the lads from our reserves to come in,” Braithwaite said. “Alex Evans will come straight into the heart of midfield.
“He is no stranger to the Hellenic League so it won’t be a problem.”
New College will be looking to bounce back from a couple of heavy defeats in Gloucestershire when they return to their South Marston base.
Last Saturday’s 3-1 reverse at Shortwood was followed by Wednesday night’s 5-1 thrashing at Lydney Town.
Tomorrow they entertain third-from-bottom Carterton and Rob Hopkins’ men will be keen to get back to winning ways.
Malmesbury make the trip to Gloucester to face Tuffley Rovers as they look to pull away from the lower echelons of the table.
Gareth Davies’ side have not played for the last 10 days, while the Glevum Park outfit come into the match on the back of a 1-0 victory at Clanfield.
Purton will be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Easington Sports when they entertain fourth placed Clanfield.
Chris Pethick’s side have lost their last three matches and the Red House side will be keen to stop the rot against another side out of form.