Deeping Rangers v Holbeach United (Saturday, 3pm): LOCAL rivalry spills into the FA Vase this weekend as Holbeach head to one of their unhappiest hunting grounds.
The Tigers haven’t won at Outgang Road since a 2-1 success way back on March 6, 2004 and have lost seven successive UCL Premier Division games there since then.
But Deeping go into the clash with a selection crisis – and Holbeach boss John Chand insists his charges are ready to pounce and bring the hoodoo to an end
He said: “Wow, that is a stat I’d like to break. I knew we didn’t have the best record against them.
“We’ll approach the game in a positive manner. In a way it’s a shame the match isn’t in the league, we’ve built up a bit of momentum in recent weeks and it’d be nice to keep that going.
“I’ve said before that I’d rather not play a rival in the Vase. But it’s a competition that we all look forward to and if we have to play a neighbour, then so be it.”
There’s no question which team comes into the derby duel in the better form.
Chand’s Tigers have won five of their last six in all competitions, scoring 19 goals in that spell.
In the same period, Deeping have won just once, shipping 20 goals. But Tuncay Korkmaz’s men have been woefully under-strength – and while Chand has no injury concerns at all, the Turkish tactician has doubts over at least seven players.
That list includes skipper Adam Weston, keeper James Doughty and flying forward Josh Moreman.
Bullish Korkmaz is refusing to admit defeat, but admits Chand will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of facing his depleted charges.
The Rangers player/boss said: “We’ve got a training session tonight and I’ll have to assess my options.
“If I’ve got eight players fully fit then I’ll be happy. All things considered, if we get any kind of positive result it’ll be the best result of our season to date.
“John Chand must be rubbing his hands together!”
Deeping drew 4-4 with Wellingborough Town on Tuesday night, but Ryan Oliver has left the club to go travelling since then and George Cox has work commitments.
Tigers quartet Matt Warfield, Wes Lewis, Tommy Treacher and Paul Goodhand are all pushing for place in the first team after last night’s friendly with Pinchbeck United (result not know as we went to press).
• HOLBEACH held a minute’s silence in honour of the late Freddy Fox before Saturday’s 2-0 win over Daventry United.
The club are also mourning the death of former chairman Chris Cooper. Formerly of Saracen’s Head, Mr Cooper was just 57 when he passed away.
The Tigers would like to pass on their condolences to the families of both club legends.