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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Turner tips Purton to find form
WOOTTON Bassett boss Dave Turner has tipped Purton to recover from their disappointing start to the Division One West season ahead of tonight’s derby at Rylands Way.
Purton have suffered hugely with injuries so far in 2012/13, with midfield lynchpin Marcus Palmer and centre-back Nick McRae among those sidelined.
But Turner reckons Purton will improve a run of form that has seen them record just two wins in eight league encounters.
“Marcus and Nick are both long-term injuries and any team would miss them as they are very good players - it would hurt you,” said the Rylands Way chief.
“I’m sure that’s part of the reason they are where they are. But I’m not getting too excited as we’ve played them before with a full squad and lost.
“Purton are top half of the table year in year out and at some stage they will start to turn it round.”
In addition to their ongoing injury problems, Chris Pethick’s side are missing skipper Dave Gee, Richie Crocker and Ashley Gooch this evening, as the trio are away on holiday.
Former Devizes player-manager Paul Thompson has signed on as cover for goalkeeper Lee Wilson, who has back and groin problems, and the former should feature tonight.
“I always look forward to derbies but this one has come a bit too soon for us with our current woes,” admitted boss Pethick.
“We’ve been quite successful at their place in the last few years so hopefully we can maintain that and get something out of the game.
“We played well in the friendly at Supermarine last week and the cup game before that, so hopefully we can carry that momentum on.
“But Bassett are very strong this year and I’d imagine they are looking at going up.”
Elsewhere, struggling Highworth go in search of their first league win since August when they travel to Holyport.
Chippenham will hope to take their cup form into the league when they visit struggling Bideford in the Southern Premier.
The Bluebirds disposed of Badshot Lea in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday and now travel to Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road Ground to take on the Tigers.
The match will take place on Saturday, October 20 with Chippenham’s Conor Thompson and Luke Ballinger set for reunions with their former club.
Gloucester are 16th in the Conference North and the winners of the fourth qualifying round clash will net £12,500 in prize money.
Bluebirds assistant manager Richard Fey said of Saturday’s win: “With the amount of injuries, cup-ties and suspensions we had, we knew we’d be up against it.
“But we were at home and the support was the best I’ve known since I’ve been here. It was a great day for the club because £7,500 is massive.”
Elsewhere in the Southern Premier, Cirencester will continue their chase of Poole at the top of Division One South & West when they welcome Evesham at the Corinium.