Nigel Brown has warned his Stowmarket side can’t afford to lose to Stevenage Town if they are to avoid relegation from London Two North East.
Brown’s charges are preparing to entertain the league’s bottom-placed side at Chilton Fields tomorrow (2pm) knowing a first win in six matches would see the club take vital steps away from the drop zone.
A 44-7 defeat to Chelmsford last week condemned the side to a fifth straight defeat, but despite that, Brown is hopeful of extending the gap between themselves and the drop zone, currently standing at six points, with victory.
“There is a slight gap between us and the bottom two and we so we can’t afford to lose,” he said.
“We are stuck in a bit of a rut but we knew there would be times when things got a bit tough.
“The club has definitely found its level at the moment and so if we can survive, we will be stronger next season.
“We can’t afford to lose against Stevenage and I’m pretty confident we won’t.
“They aren’t a bad side and will give us a good test, but we have home advantage and I’m sure we will win.
“Victory will certainly put us in the right direction and will put us one step closer to survival.”
Elsewhere, and very much at the other end of the scale, Bury St Edmunds will be aiming to take one step closer to promotion from London One North when they host Old Haberdashers tomorrow (2.30pm).
An impressive second half onslaught saw the Haberden-based outfit turn a slender 15-10 half-time lead into a comfortable 67-10 victory over Letchworth Garden City, putting more distance between themselves and their third-placed opponents in the hunt for a top two finish.
The club will now be aiming to clinch a 30th straight win against Haberdashers, but coach Gavin Hogg is well aware of the threat tomorrow’s opponents pose.
“No one will be getting carried away with the victory over Letchworth Garden City,” he said.
“It is nice to be in the position we are in but we know how tight this league can be and that anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“Haberdashers will be a difficult test. They are physical and direct and there is certainly a chance they could catch us out if we are not on form.”
In Eastern Counties One struggling Thurston face a daunting trip to league leaders Wymondham (2pm), while in Eastern Counties Two Mildenhall and Red Lodge entertain Mistley (2pm) and Thetford will look to build on a 25-12 success over Haverhill at high flying Broadland Great Yarmouth (2pm).
n A host of local players have been selected for the Eastern Counties side for the upcoming National Under-20 Shield encounter against Cambridge University.
Culford School trio Malcolm Onsando, Barry Aluvanze and Jonty Rawcliffe have been selected and are joined by Bury duo Sam Bixby and Sean Davis.