Fairford Town manager Jody Bevan will be looking to show his squad’s strength in depth ahead of a tough run of local derbies for his side, starting with Bishops Cleeve at Cinder Lane this weekend.
Saturday sees the first leg of a Gloucestershire derby hattrick for Fairford, who travel to Longlevens next weekend before hosting Tuffley Rovers the week after and Fairford go into the game against Cleeve having not played on Boxing Day – but Bevan doesn’t believe it gives his side any advantage.
“I think that whether it [not playing on Boxing Day] gives us an advantage or not is only something that wil be known in hindsight. Yes we’ll be fresher but we’ve not played for nearly three weeks now, so will there be any rustiness to us? Will we need time to blow cobwebs away?
I’m sure Cleeve will be bang up for it as we should be and I’m sure at the end of the day the best side will win rather than it being decided on fitness,” Bevan said.
Bevan was joined by assistants Jamie Reid and Lee Randall at Saw Mills on Boxing Day as Longlevens and Bishops Cleeve played out a decent 1-1 draw and elsewhere leaders Westfields were being held to a 2-2 draw with Lydney Town, however Bevan admits that whilst it should give his side a boost, it is still too early to get carried away when rivals drop points.
“I guess you could say that seeing Westfields and Cleeve both drop points on Boxing Day gave us a little lift, but we are not even at the half way point of the season!
We’ve had a great start and we deserve to be where we are currently in the league. That being said we are not getting carried away.
We had a target at the start of the season and so far we are exceeding expectations in our first 15 games and if we can replicate that form in the next 15 games then we may re-evaluate things! I’ve got a number of small goals that I want us to attempt to reach as many as possible over the rest of the season,” Bevan added.
Ahead of the game with Bishops Cleeve this weekend, Bevan also confirmed to us that Ross Langworthy is set to start after signing from Tuffley Rovers and Yate Town, however after losing Connor Thompson over Christmas and seeing Ben Lodge depart the club, Bevan has confirmed that he will be looking to utilise his big squad to fill any voids.
“Cleeve have a number of individuals with real quality and you can’t afford to switch off for a second otherwise you will be punished, that is for sure!
For us, we are being stretched with our squad at the moment but I’m in a lucky position where I have a big squad and can call on players who have been playing in the Reserves and come in without an issue. Last season we had two really tight games with Cleeve and we performed very well in both games and I expect the same thing ton Saturday.
We’ll have a new strike force in play tomorrow with Ross Langworthy set to make his debut and I’m looking forward to seeing him and Aidan playing together again,” Bevan said.
Fairford Town host Bishops Cleeve at Cinder Lane in the Hellenic Premier on Saturday 28th December; kick off 15:00