Sudbury head coach Ben Scully is looking for maximum points when relegation-threatened Woodford visit Whittome Field on Saturday (3pm), but is expecting a tough London League Two (NE) fixture.
Sudbury are second in the table and chasing a play-off spot, Woodford second bottom. Scully worked with Woodford coach Tom Redfern at the RFU, and has a lot of respect for him.
“I know he will put a strong side out, and we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve seen with Chelmsford and Old Cooperians that coming to play here is everyone’s cup final,” said Scully.
Inevitably, he has one eye on Division Two (NW), where Hampstead currently lie second on 74 points. Sudbury are on 73 points, and the second-placed team with most points hosts the promotion play-off.
“We’ve been honest and open with the boys about the play-off situation, and hopefully they will be spurred on to get maximum points,” he said.
Sudbury now have three games on the bounce. After Woodford they travel to Cantabrigian on March 17 — rearranged after the match was snowed off at the weekend —and a week later visit Harlow, where former Sudbury coach Graham Richards is now in charge.
“The boys are raring to go,” said Scully. “They get frustrated by the stop-start in the league, but three games in a row will give us continuity.
“We have to aim for maximum points in all our games to keep the pressure on the other division,” said Scully. “We want to be at home in the play-offs.”
It is tight at the top in 2NW, with HAC on 76 points, Hampstead two points behind, and Harpenden on 70.
In 2NE, Rochford Hundred are on 85 points, having won all 17 games, Sudbury 12 behind, and Wanstead a further nine adrift. Wanstead are facing disciplinary action, and possible points deduction, by the Essex RFU after picking up five red cards in the first half of the season.