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Whitchurch and Tadley gear up for derby day
WHITCHURCH will host local rivals Tadley Calleva in what is sure to be another great derby game at Longmeadow on Tuesday night.
At the moment the home side are in form – reeling off three straight wins, the latest success being over Wessex League Division One leaders Cowes Sports.
Tadley, who had a great start to the campaign, have lost that winning habit and their latest defeat was 4-2 at home to Petersfield.
However, both managers are fully aware that the form book will count for nothing on Tuesday night.
Whitchurch boss Jim Macey said: “We know it is going to be a hard game, as all local derbies are. The form for this goes out of the window.”
His opposite number at Tadley Danny Dolan agreed, saying: “They are playing well at the moment, but we will go there and look to get a result as we have done that in the past.”
Before the derby battle, Whitchurch will be hoping to make it four wins on the trot with a trip to lowly Hythe and Dibden on Saturday.
Nicky Jupp is back in the squad for the game as ’Church look to build on their excellent win over Cowes.
In that game Whitchurch went close early on as Luke Walker set-up Issac Sedu, but the goalkeeper saved, then Tom Hindmarsh made a save with his legs to keep the visitors out.
After that Paul Coventry had a shot tipped around the post before sub Ashley Childs scored the winner eight minutes from time as he was found by Alex Pickering and on the turn volleyed home.
Cowes threw everything at the home side, but the back four of Adam Pearson, Ali Brown, Pickering and Nick Chandler stood firm and Hindmarsh tipped one shot over the bar and another around the post to make sure of his clean sheet.
Another plus from the game was that Pa Touray played his first 90 minutes since returning from injury.
Meanwhile, Tadley suffered at the hands of Petersfield as the visitors scored twice in the second half to win 4-2, having earlier taken a 2-0 lead.
At that point the home side hit back as Jason Graham scored from 25 yards out and then, soon after, the same striker saw his shot hit the post and Brett Denham put in the rebound.
Things get no easier for Tadley as this weekend they travel to leaders Cowes Sports.
Talking after the defeat Dolan said: “They were the better side in the second-half and deserved the win. We had Lee Allen from Hartley making his debut and without him it could have been eight.
“We go to Cowes as underdogs with nothing to lose, but we will be looking to get a result.”
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