Evesham United have been warned to beware of another bolt from the blue after a weekend that saw the Southern League West form book consigned to the shredder according to the Evesham Journal.
The Robins had a six-match unbeaten run ended by a 2-1 defeat at in-form Yate while Saturday’s opponents Barnstaple Town (3pm) ended a 16-match winless streak by toppling giants Salisbury 1-0 on their own patch.
That precedes a rescheduled trip to Cinderford Town on Tuesday (7.45) with boss Paul Collicutt hoping to harness belief from Evesham’s upturn in fortunes over the festive period to steal a march on a congested play-off pack.
“Before that we had been unbeaten in six and have to get another run going as soon as possible. The next two will be tough trips and both on difficult pitches so we will have to be right physically and mentally.
“Barnstaple have just had their best result of the season, one nobody would have expected. Their pitch is known for being pretty heavy so life is going to be very difficult.
“We just have to make sure we hit the right notes. It will be a big scrap, they are fighting to survive and we have to match their effort before anything else.
“Results like those prove any opponent can be a banana skin but if we can keep playing like we did on Saturday, we will be fine.”
Victory in Devon would also help out Collicutt’s former club Bishop’s Cleeve, currently fighting to overhaul Barnstaple to avoid the only relegation place at the foot of the table.
“My thinking is about us and getting three points but if that helps Cleeve at the same time, then fine,” he added.
The fitness of Lewis Powell (thigh) Paul Fahy (shoulder) will be assessed ahead of the match with defender Will Wellon available again after suspension.
“We had to take off Lewis on Saturday,” said Collicutt. “He had a slight pull so we exercised caution. We are hopeful Paul will come through training unscathed this week.”