Home form key to Rovers’ safety hopes

After taking one point from their first six league games, then thirteen points from nineteen, Tuffley Rovers could complete a remarkable turnaround in their 2018/19 season, if they can continue an excellent run of home form when Binfield visit Glevum Park tomorrow.

Since losing at home to Royal Wootton Bassett Town on 15 December, Rovers have gone on a run of three wins and three draws in their past six home league games, which has helped salvage their Hellenic League Premier Division season, so manager Mark Pritchett will be hoping that the excellent run of form continues tomorrow and his side secure a win that might prove enough to save their season.

Whilst their performances across the seven away games – played over the same period – have been positive, the results have been less impressive and have yielded only five points. So, when Binfield visit tomorrow, the hosts will be looking to build on their home form.

The 12 points from the undefeated home sequence, coupled with a more meagre return of 5 points from the away games during that spell, have made up over half of Rovers’ 31 league points, as they have slowly climbed the table, with three sides now beneath them in the battle to avoid relegation.

With two of those sides – Abingdon United and Longlevens – playing each other, Saturday’s game against Binfield offers The Rovers the chance to take a huge step towards safety. However, it will be a tough test given that Roger Herridge’s costing side beat Rover 4-2 just two weeks ago.

That game saw Rovers put in what Pritchett described as their worst performance of 2019 and although they reached the interval with scores level at 2-2, a poor second half ultimately led to them returning home empty handed.

However, after a depleted squad secured another valuable point against Flackwell Heath last week, the return of Adam Bloomfield, Brad Loveridge, Will Dawes, Tyreece Briscoe and potentially Paul Carter, who has been out with injury, should mean Rovers have plenty of options in their quest to beat one of the division’s form teams.

Saturday’s game at Glevum Park will kick-off at 3pm. Around 4:45pm, Rovers should have a better idea of the challenge they face for the remainder of the season.


Saturday fixtures:

First XI v Binfield, 3pm @ Glevum Park

Upton St. Leonards v Reserves, 3pm

Thirds v Kingsway Rovers, 2:30pm @ Beaufort

Old Richians Reserves v Fourths, 1:30pm

Fifths v Sharpness 3rds, 12:30pm @ Winget