HELLENIC LEAGUE: New College boss Howell wants students to fire out of blocks in derby

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

NEW College academy director Ian Howell will be urging his side to come racing out of the blocks when they host local rivals Malmesbury Victoria.

The two sides lock horns in Hellenic League Division One West just three weeks after they last did battle in a 1-1 draw at Vics’ Flying Monk Ground.

And Howell believes the side who starts the brightest will be the one who will be victorious tomorrow.

“We need to make sure that we are positive from the start,” he said. “We can’t scrape through the first-half and then wait for us to get the players going again.

“We need our intensity to be up there, be bright and perhaps change a couple of things from the first time we played them.”

With both teams having young squads, Howell knows that his players will want to be the one with the bragging rights come the final whistle.

“The lads enjoy playing against Malmesbury, our squads are around a similar age, but as we are at home we want to press home our advantage,” he added.

New College, who are looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at North Leigh United, will give defender Ben Wells a late fitness test after he limped off last weekend with a hamstring problem.

Vics boss Gareth Davies will be hoping that his side can maintain the levels of performance that they been producing in recent weeks.

Despite losing to new champions Tytherington Rocks 4-0 on Tuesday night, the Malmesbury manager said that the opposition were full of praise for his young side.

“Their manager said that I have a good young side and that we have to keep them together,” Davies said. “We have been playing well recently and we need to keep that going against New College.”

Davies is also keen for his side to cut out the errors.

“We have been making some silly mistakes, not as often as we used too, but we’d get to 20-25 minutes and it would be goalless, then the other side would score and then a couple of minutes later they’d score again,” he said.

“But that is an age thing, the oldest player we had out against Tytherington was 21.”

Malmesbury have been hit by the news that on-loan keeper Kieran Shail has been ruled for the rest of the season with a broken thumb. But with Mike Alexander and Joe Snell, Davies says there is no need to him to pick up the gloves again.

“It is blow that we have lost Kieran, I don’t think we will see him again this season,” the Vics chief said.

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