Rams are all set for big test against leaders

Joe Richardson. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joe Richardson. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Keith Woodland

Hawks boss sickened by home form

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Petersfield Town will be putting their four game winning run to the test against league-leaders Chalfont St Peters on Saturday.

The Southern League’s division one central pacesetters will be the visitors to Love Lane (3pm).

They will be looking for three points to at least maintain their two-point lead over AFC Rushden and Diamonds at the top of the table.

The Rams were unfortunate to come away from Chalfont with a 2-1 defeat earlier in the season after they dominated large parts of the game.

That will certainly give them confidence going into the match to know they performed so well against the top side.

Rams manager Ian Saunders is expecting the visitors to show their quality at Love Lane, though.

They may not have been picked out as title favourites at the start of the season.

But he knows they have performed strongly on a consistent basis to earn their place at the top of the table.

Saunders said: ‘Some people may be surprised to see Chalfont at the top of the table but the league table doesn’t lie.

‘After about half of the season gone so far they have proved to be the best team statistically so they deserve to be top of the division and they deserve respect and praise for that achievement.

‘We may have played well at their place but they had plenty about them to win the game.

‘They have some very good forwards and they did the damage against us that day when we last played them.

‘They will be a tough team to beat but we look forward to hosting them at Love Lane.

‘If we aspire to one day win this division we will be able to take a close look at what it takes to be leading the way.’

The Rams were boosted by a return to football on Tuesday night and a comfortable 5-0 victory against division one south and west side Bashley, with Joe Richardson scoring twice.

It allowed many of the first team squad, who had not played a competitive match since Boxing Day, to get some valuable game time.

Saunders added: ‘It was important to get playing again.

‘And we made sure we didn’t become the statistic of one of only two sides to lose to Bashley so far this season.

‘It was good to get the win and equally as good to record a clean sheet – we haven’t done that for a long time and our form will certainly improve if we can keep clean sheets more often.’

– GRAEME MOIR