ANDY Ballard has urged his Didcot Town side to keep their feet on the throttle as they look to maintain their play-off chase.

The Railwaymen have lost just once in ten Evo-Stik South League Division 1 Central matches and last week leapfrogged Oxfordshire rivals Thame United to go fourth after a 1-0 derby victory.

Didcot entertain Barton Rovers tomorrow and boss Ballard says they cannot afford to underestimate their mid-table rivals.

“I was pleased with the win over Thame,” he said.

“I thought we started really well and dealt with their direct approach very well.

“Keeping a clean sheet was a credit to the lads.”

He added: “Barton are an experienced side at this level and are capable of beating anyone in this division.

“It took a last-minute winner when we played them away, so I’m hoping we can put in a more controlled performance and get the three points.”

Matty and Aaron Woodley remain sidelined with long-term injuries, while George Reid is also ruled out.

Thame United will have their work cut out to bounce straight back from last weekend’s defeat when they travel to second-placed Bromsgrove Sporting.

Andy Gledhill is unavailable in an otherwise unchanged squad, and boss Mark West said: “When we play teams that are higher up the table, we tend to turn our performances up a bit.

“If we play like we did against Didcot last week, especially in the second half, we have a chance.

“Bromsgrove have not lost at home yet, so it will be a tough ask, but we’ve got nothing to lose there.”

North Leigh will look to build on their encouraging performance against Berkhamsted when they travel to AFC Dunstable.

The Millers remain in the relegation zone on goal difference, but will head to Bedfordshire full of confidence after last week’s hard-earned point.

Boss Craig Dore said: “We’ve been playing some good football in recent weeks.

“We certainly don’t fear anybody, and I’m sure we will continue to battle hard to get out of the relegation zone.”

There is a crunch clash at the foot of the table when basement side Kidlington host Aylesbury, the side keeping North Leigh in the bottom two.

Julian McCalmon’s side have lost seven successive league games, but welcome back Elliott Osborne-Ricketts.

However, Brad Singh and James Organ have both left the club.


Didcot Tn (v Barton Rovers, home): from Bedwell, Barder, M Williams, Hayden, McNeill, Learoyd, Carnell, Dennis, McNish, L Williams, Murphy, Hackett, Gardner, Ballard, Humphries, Alexis, Thomas.

Thame Utd (v Bromsgrove Sporting, away): from Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Essex, Tutton, Tack, L Goss, Sturgess, West, Peake-Pijnen, Ashworth, Jewell, Martin, Evans, Murray.

North Leigh (v AFC Dunstable, away): from Cavanagh, Ngathe, A Grant, Gunn, Peart, R James, H Grant, Linford-Pill, Alabi, Landers, Seacole, Singh, Martei, Saunders, Pin, D James.

Kidlington (v Aylesbury, home): from Warrell, Castle, Quainton, Carbon, Bernasconi, Franklin, Martin, Gabbidon, Willoughby, Osborne-Eicketts, Benjamin, Tooke, Browne, Odhiambo, Williams, Stanbridge, Cowlishaw, Thorne.

  • BANBURY United will look to build on their victory over Coleshill when they travel to AFC Rushden & Diamonds in Premier Division Central.

Last week’s 4-2 win took Banbury into the top ten, six points off the play-off places.

Mike Ford’s side will be looking to complete the double over Diamonds after a 1-0 success over their rivals earlier in the season.