Derby Day beckons; a Boxing Day treat!

Glevum Park will host the latest ‘El Glossico’ fixture on Boxing Day, with Tuffley Rovers hosting their closest rivals, Longlevens, in a 12noon kick-off, as the sides lock meet in a festive Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division game.

The two sides, separated by five miles and four points, will meet for the fourth time in the Premier Division, with Longlevens having recorded two wins and Rovers one since both sides were promoted at the end of the 2014/15 season.

Both sides have experienced mixed form in the league this year, sitting in eight place and twelfth, respectively, but form is unlikely to be a hugely influential factor as the sides managed by Mark Pritchett and James French lock horns for the second time this season.

Rovers won the first meeting this season 3-0, in September, when goals from Ashley Davies, Brett James and Jack Overthrow took Pritchett’s side to a deserved victory and the Rovers’ manager reflected on that day with pride, whilst he looks forward to the local derby in a positive light.

“I have some good friends at Longlevens and it will be a good chance to meet up, hopefully sharing a festive drink after the game”, he said. “When we last met, we thoroughly deserved our win and I just think we wanted it more on the night; every player was fantastic and we’ll need to repeat that performance, if we want to win again.”

Rovers will be without two of their scorers in the last meeting, as Davies is away over the Christmas period and James is recovering from a long-term injury, but Overthrow and midfielder Courtney Hamilton should return after missing the creditable draw at Thatcham Town.

The only other potential absentee is Shayne Bradley, so Pritchett will have a number of options available, as he looks to record a league double over the Longlevens for the first time since the 2011/12 season.

Levens come into the game on a run of four games without a win but form will count for little when the players take to the field in the early kick-off on Monday.

Admission on Monday is £4 (£2 concessions), with Under 16s gaining free admission if they attend with a paying adult.