DIDCOT Town boss Andy Ballard is looking for a quick reaction when his side visit Slimbridge in the Evo-Stik South League tomorrow.

The promotion-chasing Railwaymen slumped to a 4-3 defeat at home to Mangotsfield last week – a result that saw them drop out of the West Division play-off positions and are now down in tenth place.

But with the table tightly-packed, Ballard knows that a victory over the relegation strugglers will get them back on track.

He said: “It’s at this time of the season where teams need to be ruthless, and we just weren’t on it on Saturday. We didn’t defend well and got punished for it.

“I believe it was just a blip, possibly the reality check we needed.”

“We have nine massive league games to play and need to see the type of performance that saw us beat Salisbury, Evesham and Bristol Manor Farm.”

Ballard has a near full-strength squad, with only Sam Elkins (knee) unavailable.

“I have decisions to make,” Ballard added. “I need my players firing on all cylinders in games and in training to force themselves into the squad.”

Meanwhile, Didcot’s Bigfreebet.com Challenge Cup final against Hitchin Town has been rearranged to be played at the Hertfordshire club’s ground on Wednesday, April 4 (7.45).

The original game on Monday was called off because of the freezing weather.

North Leigh boss John Brough comes up against his old side as they entertain Cinderford Town.

The west Oxfordshire side welcome back Anthony Simpson from suspension and Jamie Cook from injury, while Brough also adds Josh Thomas, who has joined on loan from Cheltenham Town until the end of the season.

Kidlington will be keen to get back to winning ways when they visit basement boys Bishops Cleeve.

The Greens’ 3-1 home defeat by promotion-chasing Wimborne on Saturday, was followed by a loss against strugglers Slimbridge in midweek.

Despite taking the lead midway through the first half through Duran Martin’s penalty, Julian McCalmon’s depleted side went down 3-1.

For the trip to Gloucestershire, they will have Tom Franklin, Lewis Gabbidon and Conor McDonagh back in the contention, but are without the injured Lewis Coyle and Jack Quainton.

In the East Division, Thame United entertain Egham Town, with boss Mark West bemoaning his side’s lack of consistency.

Thame lost 4-2 at struggling Fleet Town last Saturday, but bounced back in midweek with a 3-1 victory over Hanwell Town.

After going behind to a tenth-minute penalty, they fought back to win with goals from Dan West, Aston Goss and Liam Tack.

West said: “We can’t seem to string two good results together, which is really frustrating.”

Thame will be without Luke Ricketts, Ben Connelly, David Lynn and James McGowan, but Ben Sturgess returns from injury.

Banbury United entertain St Ives in the Premier Division with boss Mike Ford having to decide which goalkeeper he selects.

Jack Harding has recovered from injury, but his stand-in, Martin Herdman, has been in good form between the sticks.

Ford, who was delighted with his side’s 4-1 win against Farnborough a fortnight ago, says he will make a late decision on who gets the nod.

“We’re looking OK at the moment., he said. “ I am not sure which keeper I’m going to play, but it’s good to be back at full strength.”

Midfielder George Nash also returns from injury as Banbury look to consolidate their place in the top ten.


Banbury Utd (v St Ives, home ): from Herdman, Ngathe, Stonehouse, Self, Bradbury, Carnell, Humphreys, Finch, Johnson, Sandy, Winters, Wise, Wright, Howards, Awadh, Harding, Nash.

Didcot Town (v Slimbridge, away): from Bedwell, Jeacock, Learoyd, Cattell, McNeil, Hayden, Murphy, Barder, McNish, Williams, Agyakwa, Reid, Barcelos, Thomas, Ballard.

North Leigh (v Cinderford Tn, home): from Grimshaw, Lymn, Harvey, Strong, Keightley, Chalmers, Shepperd, Seacole, Cook, Grabe, James, Green, Carroll, Mattock, Brough, Paddock, Thomas.

Kidlington (v Bishops Cleeve, away): from Warrell, E Odhiambo, Castle, Browne, Whitehead, Franklin, Osborne-Ricketts, Gabbidon, Benjamin, McDonagh, A Odhiambo, Brown, Janes, Williams, Bell, Martin.

Thame Utd (v Egham Tn, home): from Hill, Evans, Mepham, Johnston, Ashworth, Morris, A Goss, L Goss, Tack, West, Finlay, Sturgess.