A ROUND trip of more than 200 miles awaits Buckland Athletic when they travel to Cadbury Heath in the Western League tomorrow (3pm).
Paul Froude’s men go into the game off the back of a disappointing last-gasp defeat against Saltash United last weekend. They remain 12th.
‘Charlie Johansen is unavailable but other than that we have a pretty full complement,’ said Froude. ‘Once again we’ll make a late call on Rhys [Fuller] and his knee, as he didn’t train this week.
‘We’re hoping to get Nick Milton Jnr back involved too, as he continues his journey back to full fitness.
‘It is a bit of a hike up there. We only have four away games left and this is probably the longest one of them all.
‘We beat them 2-1 at our place, conceding late which made things a bit harder than they needed to be. I see they’ve beaten Exmouth recently, so we certainly won’t be taking them lightly.’
On the other hand, Newton Abbot Spurs go into tomorrow’s derby at Dartmouth buoyed by Tuesday night’s 94th-minute smash-and-grab against Ivybridge Town.
But the Darts will also be in high spirits after beating title challengers Torpoint Athletic 2-1 on the same night.
Spurs boss Marc Revell will be without winger Lloyd Gardner – but Callum Noyce, Harry Ford and Tom Johns will travel. Kick-off at Longcross is at 3pm.
‘Sometimes it’s good to go down to a team who are on a high from winning in midweek,’ Revell said. ‘They’ll go into tomorrow with a slight false sense of security now.
‘Winning against Torpoint is a massive thing, ringers or not, but at the same time if the players from that game aren’t playing on Saturday then it’s a totally different entity.
‘I still go down to Dartmouth confident, especially off the back of our win. The lads still didn’t play as well as I know they can, so I’ll ask for a little bit more from them on Saturday and hopefully we surprise them.
‘We’ll feel like the home side down there, too, because I don’t think Dartmouth will have 50 or 60 [supporters] with the voices that we’ve got. I expect some good support from our lot for sure.’
One team who won’t be playing this weekend are Bovey Tracey. They’re next in action on Wednesday night when they entertain Torridgeside in the Peninsula Premier East (7.30pm).
‘It’s disappointing not to have anything on again this weekend,’ said Bovey manager Will Small. ‘It’s very stop-start at the moment, which is frustrating for myself and the lads.
‘But that being said, everyone is available for Torridgeside on Wednesday so I should have a strong squad to pick from.
‘By the sounds of it Torridgeside are a bit of a different animal in midweek games, so I’m not sure what we’ll be coming up against.
‘But it is what it is and it will definitely be an interesting game – probably quite different to the reverse fixture, too.’
There’s another all-Teignbridge tussle in the Devon Football League South & West tomorrow as Buckland Athletic Reserves look to put a dent in Teignmouth’s promotion aspirations at Homers Heath (3pm).
The Teigns maintained a four-point buffer between themselves and second-placed Mount Gould as they hammered Bere Alston United 6-0 last weekend.
‘We know full-well what Buckland are like,’ said Teigns boss Liam Jones. ‘They’re a good, solid, strong club.
‘Hutchy [manager Craig Hutcheson] has done a good job fixing the reserves since the start of the season. The results show how far they’ve come.
‘Homers Heath is never an easy place to go, but if my lads want promotion they need to enjoy playing at grounds like that.
‘I’m expecting a tough game. They will be solid in their shape and gunning for us – but there shouldn’t be any team in this league more motivated than ourselves.’
Craig Hutcheson’s Bucks were beaten 5-2 at Coombe Valley when the sides met back in September – but they’ve only lost twice in the league since then.
‘We know full well what Teignmouth offer at this level of football,’ said Hutcheson. ‘It’s a great challenge for us.
‘We played them many weeks ago now at their place and I thought we gave them a good game, so it will be interesting to see how much development we’ve made.
‘It’s a cup final for them like every game in the run-in is, so they’ll be coming to Homers Heath looking for no less than three points.’
Elsewhere in the DFL South & West division, Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves are without a game while Ipplepen Athletic entertain Bere Alston United (3pm).
A win for Pens would see them move within four points of second-bottom Paignton Saints, who don’t have a game.
George Dumas’ Spurs side play their next – and final – league game on April 16, also against Bere Alston.
Tomorrow is also due to feature Liverton United’s penultimate game of the season away at North Molton in the DFL North & East division (3pm).
Tenth-placed Livvy won 3-1 last time out at Exmouth Town Reserves, so manager John Fleet is optimistic – as long as he can get a squad together.
‘Based on our last performance, I’d back us to go up there and put in a positive performance,’ Fleet revealed. ‘I’d certainly be hoping for a result.
‘But as it stands we’re struggling a bit for players. Ryan Griffiths is back available but Emi [Mucaj] isn’t, so that’s a straight swap.
‘I’m not normally one to pull out of games, so hopefully we can get an 11 together and do what we need to do to get the game played. With only two fixtures left I’d rather not pull out.’