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Leaders face two tough tests

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Thatcham bid to return to form and Newbury are out to shake off FA Cup nightmare

HUNGERFORD TOWN return from FA Cup action still topping the Evo Stik League Southern's Division One South and West, but manager Bobby Wilkinson is expecting two tough tests of his side's credentials this week.

On Saturday they entertain Yate Town,who hammered Melksham 10-1 in their cup tie last week, and on Tuesday night they face the testing trip into the Forest of Dean to tackle Cinderford Town.

"They are two tough games for us," he said. "Yate are a good side, and in Michael Meaker they have a player who can always score goals."

Hungerford are likely to be without midfielder Peter Macklin for both games due to a hamstring injury, while left back Matt Jack misses the Yate game.

THATCHAM return to league action in the wake of their FA Cup exit at Marlow, making the trip west to take on bottom of the table Bridgwater Town.

But Bridgwater have been slowly rebuilding, and last week put five past Torpoint Athletic in the FA Cup.

"But this is the perfect chance to pick our game up," said manager Gary Ackling, who was disappointed by his side's display at Marlow.

"It was our worst since we lost to Clevedon last season," he said, "but after that we went on that tremendous run that took us into the play-offs."

Thatcham also entertain lowly Stourport Swifts on Wednesday night as they bid to retain their unbeaten league tag. They have midfielder Tom Melledew back from suspension, although Robbie Sadler misses both games.

NEWBURY will be stepping back into knock-out action a week after being humbled 9-1 at Sholing in the FA Cup.

They go to Spartan South Midlands League side Holmer Green in the FA Vase on Saturday with manager Steve Melledew likely to stick by the same squad that had previously boasted a 100 per cent record.

"We were just totally outclassed and totally outplayed," he said of the game at Sholing, who are two leagues highe rin the pyramid.

"This could be one of those banana skin games," he said. "I suppose on results we will go there as favourites, but they might consider themselves favourites as well."

Newbury will still be without the injured Luke Mason and Marc Piper.

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