JOHN Fisher has stoked the fires ahead of the Highworth-Shrivenham Boxing Day derby by claiming he expects to win.
The Elms boss won the December 26 clash last year when on the other side of the fence, and this time round is anticipating another three Hellenic Premier points.
“Highworth are expecting to beat Shrivenham this year, let’s be fair about it,” said Fisher.
“Shrivenham can’t lose - if they don’t get anything out of it then they weren’t expected to anyway.
“That’s if the game is on at all as the forecast is bad.”
Highworth have signed Tom Fila from Hungerford who figured in the 2-0 defeat at Highmoor on Saturday - the only game in the entire Hellenic League to go ahead.
Goals either side of the break at the Palmer Park Stadium from Callum Gallimore and Steven Peacock condemned Highworth to defeat.
Fisher added: “I can’t fault the way the players are playing at the moment, they are giving me everything they can.
“They are showing the commitment and the attitude and trying to do what I ask them to.”
All of our other local sides suffered disappointment at the weekend with the weather resulting in their fixtures being called off.
Malmesbury’s Flying Monk pitch was the worst hit with the Vics’ surface being covered by a temporary lake for the second time this season.
Malmesbury’s pitch will have to stage a miraculous recovery if they are to take on Tytherington, while Cricklade visit Carterton, Fairford host New College and Lambourn welcome Letcombe.
In the Southern League on Saturday, Supermarine’s trip to Merthyr was called off, while Cirencester and Chippenham also did not play.
Supermarine are due to welcome Paulton on Boxing Day and boss Dave Webb is optimistic the game will survive the weather.
“The groundstaff have done a fantastic job and I would be very surprised if it wasn’t on, even if we get more rain,” he said.
“Paulton are on a good run themselves so they will come in confident mood. It will be a case of who is that little bit sharper after Christmas Day.”
Marine are still missing Dan Wallington who looks set for another four to six weeks out with a suspected sports hernia.
Cirencester make the trip to Shortwood on Boxing Day while Chippenham journey to Chesham.