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Derby clash is a must-win game for both teams, insists manager Thompson

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

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CALOR DIVISION ONE S&W

Matches between Yate and Mangotsfield rarely require building up, but there is no denying that today's clash at Lodge Road carries more significance than normal.

"It is more than just a local derby this weekend because I think whichever side loses will be out of the play-offs," said Mangotsfield boss Richard Thompson. "It is a must-win for both teams."

Yate manager Rob Cousins agrees with Thompson's assessment.

"There is an added spice to the game in that both of us are hanging in there with regards to making the play-offs," he said. "We have just five games to go and 15 points to play for – and the Mangotsfield clash will be just like a cup game."

Shaun Lamb and Jamie Reid miss out for Mangotsfield through suspension, while Yate will be without James Harmer (work commitments).

Paulton boss Nick Bunyard, who saw his side's six-game unbeaten sequence ended by title-contenders Cirencester in midweek, will be looking for an immediate response at home to Didcot today as they aim for a play-off place.

"I think Cirencester and Tiverton will make the play-offs (behind leaders Merthyr) and I think we are fighting with Swindon Supermarine (fourth) and Shortwood ( sixth) for the other two places," said Bunyard.

"I think four or five wins from our last seven games would be enough."

Paulton will be without suspended pair Dean Evans and Dan Cleverley, but Stu Tovey is expected to play despite a groin problem.

Before their midweek loss to Cirencester, Paulton had not been beaten since March 4, although three of their four victories in that sequence had come away from their Winterfield Road base.

Clevedon have Matt Thorne and Luke Hall-Cousins back for the trip to Taunton.

"They are massive players for us, so it is great to have them back," said manager Paul McLoughlin.

Taunton could recall as many as four players for the game as Shane Kingston (ill), Chris Young and Simon Ingram, both injured, and Ross MacNab (cup-tied) could be back in the side after missing Tuesday's 1-0 away win over Bath City.

Taunton (from): Perry, Price, Kingdom, Irish, Mammola, Norrish, Kingston, Short, Carter, Ingram, Young, Tasker, Pepperell, Murray, MacNab, Marsh.

Brian Hughes is back in love with football again after his Cirencester team put an end to their recent sticky run with a 1-0 win at play-off rivals Paulton in midweek.

The Centurions welcome county rivals Bishop's Cleeve to the Corinium Stadium today and Hughes is keen for a repeat of their Somerset showing.

"Football is an amazing game and there are days when I wonder why I do what I do, but Tuesday was one of those days that reminds you," Hughes said. "It was our best performance since the weather-enforced break after Christmas."

Cleeve boss John Brough says his first season of senior management has been a massive learning curve and a great experience.

"There have been periods when it's taken its toll on me," Brough said. "But the highs of beating Merthyr, Evesham and Shortwood overshadow anything that has been negative."

Play-off chasing Shortwood head into their Meadowbank match against Cinderford on the back of a fine run of only one defeat in 20 league games.

Wood joint-boss Alex Sykes said: "We have to take care of each and every game with the same level of professionalism because there are never easy games in this league.

"It's a derby and the lads all know each other well and that makes it a tricky game."

Reliable stopper Tom King misses today's game as he is at a wedding, so young reserve goalkeeper Ashton Herbert steps up to the first team.

It is understood that former Forest Green Rovers duo Chris Smith and Paul Hunt have held talks with the Foresters about becoming their new management team.

Smith spent several years as assistant to Frank Gregan at Forest Green and Weston, while former striker Hunt was a popular figure at The Lawn in the 1990s.

Bridgwater will look to bounce back after their defeat by Cinderford on Tuesday when they play away to struggling Guildford in Division One South & West of the Calor Southern League today.

The Somerset side, who have won only one of their last six games, will be chasing the season's double over Guildford, having beaten them 4-2 at home in December.

However, their form this year has been patchy and they go into today's game in 14th place in the table.

Bridgwater (from): Alexander, Greaves, Allward, Faux, Thomas, Allen, Robertson, Bater, Tooze, Page, O'Connor, Rendell, Rudge, Mawford.

In-form Josh Parsons will be looking to add to his record of eight goals in his last four matches when play-off chasing Swindon Supermarine visit lowly Thatcham today.

However, Supermarine have disappointed in their last two away games – losing 3-0 at both Tiverton and struggling Fleet.

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