PREVIEW: Title showdown as league leaders tackle an unbeaten home record

Action from a previous Deeping Rangers v Yaxley game.
Action from a previous Deeping Rangers v Yaxley game.
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There’s a very local United Counties Premier Division title showdown at the Haydon Whitham Stadium, Deeping tomorrow (tonight, March 9, 7.45pm).

Deeping Rangers will put their unbeaten home record on the line against leaders Yaxley in a vital contest for both sides.

Action from last season's game between Deeping Rangers and Yaxley.

Action from last season's game between Deeping Rangers and Yaxley.

It’s particularly important for Yaxley who have played more games than all of their title rivals. The Cuckoos start tonight’s match six points ahead of Deeping, but have played four more matches.

“It’s not quite do or die for us,” Yaxley manager Andrew Furnell said. “But it’s a more important game for us than Deeping in many ways. A draw wouldn’t be a disaster for us, but we really do need to take as many points as possible off Deeping as they look to have the easiest run-in of all the teams near the top.

“It’s just a shame for us we couldn’t play on our 3G last weekend when a win would have put us seven points clear of the rest. They would all have been under big pressure then.

“We can put that pressure on by winning tomorrow instead, but that won’t be easy. Deeping are just so consistent and reliable. They don’t do anything particularly flamboyant, but they don’t make many mistakes.

“It’s a great title race to be involved in though. It’s great that so many teams still have a chance and we’re happy to be in the thick of it as no-one expected us to go this well.”

Yaxley, who travel to Eynesbury for a Hunts Senior Cup semi-final next Tuesday (March 13), saw their lead dwindle to a point following a midweek win for nearest challengers Newport Pagnell who also have two games in hand.

Third-placed Wisbech also have two games in hand on Yaxley after a 2-1 Tuesday win at Wellingborough Whitworth. Two Alex Beck goals took the Fenmen to within two points of The Cuckoos.

Wisbech are at Daventry tomorrow when fifth-placed Holbeach United are at Cogenhoe. Holbeach are also in action next Tuesday when travelling to Peterborough Northern Star. Star’s fixture at Oadby tomorrow has been postponed because of clubhouse damage caused by the recent snow.

Pinchbeck United need a maximum of 11 points from eight games to seal the Division One title. They haven’t lost a game since September 30, a record they should extend at home to Oakham United tomorrow when fourth-placed Blackstones continue their promotion push at Lutterworth Town.

FIXTURES

Friday, March 9

UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE

Premier Division: Deeping Rangers v Yaxley (7.45pm).

Saturday, March 10

UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE

Premier Division: Cogenhoe United v Holbeach United, Daventry Town v Wisbech Town.

Postponed: Oadby Town v Peterborough Northern Star.

Division One: Irchester United v Huntingdon Town, Lutterworth Town v Blackstones, Pinchbeck United v Oakham United, Rushden and Higham United v Bourne Town.