A big derby in the title race

VALE REC boss Mark Romeril says his side will have to be at their ‘absolute best’ tomorrow afternoon in the third Grand Fort Road derby of the season.

Goalkeeper Christian Povall is back in training with Vale Rec after injury. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31506267)
Goalkeeper Christian Povall is back in training with Vale Rec after injury. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31506267)

North have triumphed in both of the fixtures so far this year, beating their rivals 7-0 in the league and coming from behind to secure a 2-1 victory in the FA Cup.

‘On their day they are the best team in the league I think, and we definitely have some way to go to be at the level where we can consistently turn up against them,’ said Romeril

Rec will be able to welcome back a number of first team players for the fixture, although the head coach admitted that recent weather conditions may cause the game to be postponed.

‘Christian Povell is back in training – he has been out since the first game of the season so it will be great to have him included.

‘Danny Ozanne also returns after missing a few games, and Simon Shaw is back too.

‘We have a few others who are not too far away either – Glenn Le Tissier will hopefully be back next week, and Louis Travis is not a million miles away either.’

A win for either side could see them end the weekend at the summit of the Priaulx League table if Rovers’ result goes their way, with Rec sitting a point behind the league leaders and North a further point behind them, although Romeril’s team have played a game more than the other two teams in the top three.

‘The league has sort of split into a top four and a bottom four and for us it’s nice to be in that top four mixing it with the likes of Saints, Rovers and North.’

Rovers still remain unbeaten in the top flight this season, after salvaging a draw against St Martin’s in the last minute last weekend.

Kevin Gillease’s men host Alderney tomorrow and have the chance to make it seven wins from their first nine encounters.

The visitors have failed to pick up a point since their opening day win against Sylvans, most recently losing 3-0 away to Vale Rec.

‘We just see it as one that has to be another three points,’ said the Rovers manager.

‘I was not able to be there for the Saints game, but by the sounds of it we played well enough and we are happy with the point, especially considering the circumstances of it, scoring so late on.

‘The way that we are going at the moment we are not really thinking about losing games, and being top of the league gives us that incentive to keep the positive momentum up.

‘Max Simpson-Cohen will be missing for the game, and unfortunately Ben Le Tocq has gone off on his travels and will not be available for the remainder of the season, which is a huge shame. It has been great being able to use Ben so far this season, he has been a real asset to us.’

In the two other domestic fixtures this weekend, Sylvans host Bels at St Peter’s while St Martin’s make the trip to the KGV to play against Rangers.

Both Jason Leaman’s Saints and Chris Tardif’s Rangers come into the clash in good form, with the hosts looking to pick up a fourth win in five games after losing their first five in the league.

St Martin’s have also began to turn their rocky start to the campaign around in recent weeks, picking up a huge win against North in the league a couple weeks back before becoming the first team since game week one to get anything from a clash against Rovers, and they were seconds away from breaking their unbeaten record.

Bels come into their away tie at Sylvans out of form, losing their last four matches in all competitions.

They do still sit just one point behind St Martin’s, though, after winning four of their first five in the Priaulx League.

Sylvans have also struggled to pick up points so far this campaign, winning just twice in their first nine games to leave them sitting in seventh.

Rovers v Alderney is set to kick-off at 1.45pm at Port Soif tomorrow, while the other three fixtures all get under way at 2pm.

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