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Pride at stake in derby showdown at the Bowl
FIERCE pride and rivalry will be at stake when FC Clacton host Stanway Rovers tonight.
The neighbours are set to meet in a Red Insure Cup first-round tie at the Rush Green Bowl.
Stanway are holders, having won the competition in its guise as the Ridgeons League Cup in May.
And with key personnel having represented both clubs, it’s bound to be a hard-fought and competitive encounter.
Rovers boss Steve Pitt left Clacton to take over at The Hawthorns and his current squad includes former Seasiders Paul Rutherford, Kevin Coyle, Matt Cripps, Martin Calver, Chris Ribchester and Terry Rymer.
Clacton boss Ray Turner was Pitt’s assistant at Stanway for 15 months before taking over at the Bowl.
And he admits it will be strange going head to head with a club he knows so well.
“It’s going to be a great test for us,” said the former Stanway striker.
“On paper, with the players they’ve got, they should beat us comfortably but football doesn’t always work that way.
“I was at Stanway last season when they won the Ridgeons League Cup.
“The final was one of those days you’re involved in non-league football for and you can’t beat that feeling.
“It will be strange going up against a club I know so well, especially being the dug-outs next to Steve.
“But when that whistle goes, I’ll be a Clacton representative.
“Anyone who knows me knows how committed I am and I’ll want to win as much as anyone.”