Thu, 07 Sept 2017
NEWBURY BLUES are expecting a big crowd for their first home game in the South West Premier League when they meet former National League rivals Lydney at Monks Lane on Saturday.
Long, long ago Lydney were the side on the waiting end of the infamous 'boils' problem when an acute infection of 'scrumpox' afflicted Newbury players before their midweek National Cup tie that ended with Blues winning before narrowly bowing out to champions Leicester in the next round.
Years and divisions later, the teams meet again with Blues buzzing following promotion and victory at Bournemouth last week, while Lydney narrowly escaped the drop last season and kicked off with defeat at Exmouth.
But that reverse was at one of the pre-season promotion favourites and, said Blues head coach Lee Goodall: We are playing a side that narrowly missed relegation last season, but have recruited several players and to go to Exmouth who are virtually full-time and only shipped 39 points, what do you read into that?"
With so many new opponents to face, Blues have not been able to gauge much so far about what awaits them and, added Goodall: "We are playing teams we don’t really know, and they don’t know anything about us.
“But not knowing what’s in front of you makes us focus on our game and we’ve got to be adaptive and able to change our style to what’s in front of us, and that’s a good thing.”
Blues have to change last week's wining side after centre Rhys Davies picked up an injury and Ollie Spanswick is away at a wedding. But Alex Millar is available, and Josh Bartlett may also be in the mix if he comes through training this week.