Safety first mission for Great Yarmouth Town
- Credit: Archant
Great Yarmouth Town will be looking to take a giant step towards Thurlow Nunn Premier Division safety when they welcome strugglers Long Melford to the Wellesley.
Joint bosses Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair announced they will be stepping away from the first team at the end of the season in the week but the pair are keen to ensure the Bloaters retain their Premier Division status.
Yarmouth go into the crunch match two points ahead of the second from bottom Suffolk side with just three matches left to play.
A win would take Great Yarmouth to within touching distance of safety ahead of their Easter Monday trip to Gorleston.
However, a defeat would leave them needing a positive result at Emerald Park to stand a realistic chance of staying up, with a tough trip to third-placed Godmanchester rounding off the campaign.
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A draw wouldn't be such a bad result for the home side – but that won't be in the thinking of the joint bosses.
'We go into every game trying to win it and this will be no different,' said Sinclair, speaking before the announcement that he and Mason would be standing down.
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'There is no way we would set up to try and take a point and I don't think that would work anyway. We want all three. It's a game we are all looking forward to although I guess there is a bit of nervous excitement there too.
'I think the players have been feeling the pressure recently and that has been reflected in our results but this is a great chance to put some distance between ourselves and Long Melford and we are determined to take it.
'Obviously we would prefer to go to Gorleston on Monday with something in hand because we are well aware we won't get any favours there. They haven't had best of times recently but I know Stu Larter and his players will be absolutely determined to win that, especially after the way we beat them at The Wellesley on Boxing Day. That was the first time we had beaten them in the league for 10 years or so and they will be up for the game, no doubt about it. But that can wait - you always focus on the next game and that one is on Saturday.'
Elsewhere, Gorleston travel to Godmanchester and Norwich United go to Brantham Athletic. Wroxham entertain Stowmarket whilst Kirkley & Pakefield welcome Ely City.
Thetford, who will have one eye on their Norfolk Senior Cup final, go to Hadleigh United.
In the First Division, leaders Harleston entertain March Town United whilst second-placed Swaffham Town, who are two points behind having played a game less, host Ipswich Wanderers.
Dereham Town joint boss Adam Gusterson has challenged his side to achieve a top-10 finish as they entertain Tilbury.
Gusterson and Olly Willis took the Magpies reins after a 4-2 defeat to the Dockers in January - Neal Simmons' final game in charge. They took over with Dereham four points adrift and have gone on to orchestrate a resurgence that continued with a 3-2 win at Witham last weekend.
But Gusterson, whose side will also contest the final of the Norfolk Senior Cup against Thetford Town later this month, doesn't want any let-up from his squad over the Easter period.
'We have a busy end to the season with four games in 10 days and the squad will be utilised to ensure we keep everybody fresh,' said Gusterson, who will be without Owen Murphy, Rhys Logan, Joe Gatting and Lewis Johnson this afternoon 'A win today puts us level with Tilbury who currently occupy 10th position and that is now our objective, to finish in the top 10.
'We are determined to try and make this happen and if we can it will be an unbelievable achievement given that going into February we were four points adrift at the bottom of the league.
'I cannot give enough praise to the players. They have been superb. Witham was a great example, it could have been easy to not put a shift in and work extremely hard but they didn't and showed a tremendous will to win. We know the standard required to get results at Bostik North level and they have demonstrated that with their performances since I've been at the club.'
Sheringham will be looking to hit the front in the Anglian Combination Premier Division when they travel to Bradenham Wanderers.
The Shannocks are just a point off leaders Caister, who have played two games more, and know that if they take five points from their remaining three games then the title will be theirs.
Long Stratton, who travel to St Andrews are still in with a shout of the title but will need to win both their games over the Easter period to have any chance.
In the First Division the UEA need just a point to secure promotion as they entertain Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves.
The students are six points clear of second-placed Mundford, who entertain Hindringham, with two games to play.