Cleeve continue “cup finals” run-in at home to Winchester

Mitre’s boss Stephen Cleal will be looking for a reaction after saturday’s defeat, starting tonight as Bishop’s Cleeve host Winchester City in the Evo-Stik Southern League West, writes Bill Ledbury.

Cleeve are currently rooted at the bottom of the division, 10 points adrift of second from bottom Barnstaple Town – who beat Stephen Cleal’s men 3-2 on Saturday.

Bishops Cleeve do however have two games in hand on Barnstaple, after their games against rivals Cinderford Town and Bristol Manor Farm were postponed.

Overall, it’s been a disappointing season for the Mitres with relegation looming on the South-West outfit. They’ve won just three games all season and have lost their last few matches against table-toppers Taunton Town, the aforementioned Barnstaple and mid-table Cirencester Town.

Tonight they face a strong Winchester City side who sit comfortably in sixth position. They’ve had a good start to 2018, picking up seven points from their last five matches, although they were beaten 4-1 by Bristol Manor Farm at the weekend.

Severn Sport last spoke to Cleal ahead of their fixture against local rivals Cinderford, however the game was postponed due to poor weather conditions. The Mitre’s boss described that it won’t be easy getting out of trouble, but they’ll go down fighting to stay in the division.

“Given our place in the table, every game is obviously going to be difficult, we’ve got 16 cup finals left” he said.

However that 16 has now become 15 after their loss at the weekend. Bishops Cleeve will be searching for the vital three points tonight in a bid to start their great escape in the Evo-Stik Southern League West.

Tonight’s game will be the first of three home matches in eight days for the Mitre’s, and if they can secure maximum points then they could potentially see the gap between themselves and Barnstaple close to just the one point.

You can follow live updates of tonight’s game on @SevernSport from 19:30, with kick-off at Kayte Lane at 19:45.