Cleal looking for Bishops Cleeve to build momentum after frustrating fixture disruptions

Bishops Cleeve manager Stephen Cleal is looking for his side to build momentum going into the end of the year, despite having only played three away games since the 22nd October. 

Due to the bad weather and a heavy pitch the Mitres haven’t played a home game since their 2-0 defeat against Westfields in the Hellenic Premier, but are hoping to get their Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup tie with Tuffley Rovers on – despite the cold weather.

Should Tuesday’s game go ahead it will be Cleeve’s first opportunity to right the wrongs of their 3-2 defeat at Shortwood United last midweek, after Saturday’s game against Ardley was postponed and Cleal admits it has been a tough time for his squad.

“It’s been frustrating as it’s hard to build momentum,” said Cleal. “Stop start is a killer and that has shown with our last six games, winning three and losing three and that’s a result of that!

But there’s plenty of football left and no one has really got away from us in that time. The lads find it difficult but we’re in good spirits still and hopefully we can get a run of games and momentum in the coming weeks.” 

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If Tuesday’s game does go ahead then it gives Tuffley the chance to get revenge for their 4-0 drubbing at Kayte Lane and ahead of the game Cleal is full of praise for his counterpart Mark Pritchett and admits it will be another tough local derby for his side.

“Tuffley are a good side with good players and I’ve always said that I respect Pritch [Mark Pritchett] as a manager. He’s a winner and we all know that, add in a derby and a score to settle after the league game and you’ve got a tough task ahead of us. But it’s a task we will be looking forward to,” added Cleal.

Going into the game Bishops Cleeve should have a full squad to choose from except Nick Hancock, who misses the game through suspension.

Bishops Cleeve host Tuffley Rovers at Kayte Lane on Tuesday 3rd December; kick off 19:45