Two huge basement battles in the Thurlow Nunn League

First published in Sport

THERE are two huge bottom-of-the-table clashes in the Thurlow Nunn League today.

WIVENHOE TOWN, one place above the basement, host the side directly above them – Ely City.

Neighbours FC CLACTON, meanwhile, will be desperate to boost their survival quest with a home match against bottom team Woodbridge.

Both clashes – weather and pitch-permitting – will be viewed as crucial in the battle to dodge the premier division relegation trap door.

Wivenhoe will certainly be buoyed by their recent win at neighbours Stanway Rovers.

“Everyone’s fit and raring to go,” said Dragons boss Mo Osman. “Ely are a tough, physical side but we won’t be settling for anything less than three points.

“Beating Stanway lifted everyone but it’s gone now and has no relevance on today’s game. “We’ve got take each match one at a time, on its own merits.”

New Clacton boss Phil Yearling has already made a trio of new signings in time for his first match at the Rush Green Bowl.

Former Stanway Rovers pair Jim Stark and Matt Gladman have joined, in addition to Yearling’s son, Harry, from Wivenhoe.

Only Stark will be in the squad this weekend, though, as the other two top up their fitness.

“Woodbridge have a new manager and he’ll be keen to get off to a winning start, so it’s massive for both clubs,” said Yearling.

Skipper Tom Austin is an injury doubt for the Seasiders.

STANWAY ROVERS are also at home, against CRC.

Angelo Harrop’s side will be keen to build on last week’s stunning victory at Norwich United.

However, they face a tough test against opposition two places and one point above them.

Michael Brothers is suspended and Matt Cripps is still out with a hamstring injury, while Michael Fitzgibbon left the club this week in order to join Ryman League Maldon & Tiptree.

BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT visit Kirkley & Pakefield, while BRANTHAM ATHLETIC entertain Norwich United.

In division one, HALSTEAD TOWN are at home to Team Bury, while BRAINTREE TOWN RESERVES host Debenham LC.

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