Thetford Town are hopeful they can secure the return of flamboyant Portuguese winger Bruno Tavares to aid their survival battle.
Mark Scott’s charges have taken just one point from the last 33 available to them in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, culminating in a disastrous 4-0 hammering by relegation rivals CRC on Saturday.
But with Tavares on the verge of heading back down the A1066 from Diss Town, the Brecklanders could be boosted for tomorrow’s clash at home to Norfolk rivals Noriwch United (3pm).
“We’ve got 11 cup finals to play,” said Scott, who lost defender Dan Morphew to Haverhill Rovers before Saturday’s defeat, but acquired the services of Nathan Birch and Ryan Clark. “We are probably one of the favourites to be relegated because we’ve played more games than everyone around us.
“We are still confident in our own ability, but with 33 points to play for, we still need 18 or 20 of those.”
Fifth-bottom Thetford are three points above the trapdoor, but have played five more games than fourth-bottom Wivenhoe Town (18pts) and four more than third-bottom CRC (17pts) and second-bottom Diss Town (16pts).
At the other end of the table, Walsham-le-Willows and Mildenhall Town have fallen behind Brantham Athletic in the race for the title.
The second-placed Willows — who lost 2-1 to Norwich United on Saturday, with Ollie Hughes netting a second-half consolation — host fourth-placed Dereham Town tomorrow (3pm).
Walsham boss Paul Smith, who will be without left-back Andrew Cusack tomorrow, said: “Our match with Dereham is a real six-pointer on Saturday because they have three games in hand on us — if they were to beat us it would be a real kick in the teeth.”
Hall, who lost 1-0 to new leaders Brantham on Saturday, travel to Wivenhoe tomorrow (3pm) before visiting Godmanchester Rovers on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Boss Christian Appleford said: “There are some tough runs for a few sides, so I don’t see anyone running away with it because teams will all take points off each other.”
Hall will be without James Paterson (broken rib) for a few weeks, while Carl Murkin is unavailable for tomorrow’s trip to Essex, but the Recreation Way-based outfit should be able to welcome back Andrew Wood and Kris Thomas.
In the First Division, Stowmarket Town host Cornard United in the battle of the basement boys tomorrow (3pm).
The Ards have lost their last 32 consecutive league matches, while Stow enter the match on the back of a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of table-topping Newmarket Town.
Team Bury host Saffron Walden Town tomorrow (3pm) before welcoming Stow to Ram Meadow on Tuesday (7.45pm).