ROYAL Wootton Bassett coach Alan Low is relishing his side’s biggest test of the season tomorrow when welcoming unbeaten Newbury Blues to Ballards Ash in a top-of-the-table clash.

The Blues arrive in Wiltshire having won all 11 of their opening South West One East fixtures this season, and winning their two games before Christmas against Bassett and Salisbury will ensure a clean sweep of the league in the first part of the season.

Low’s troops enter the tie in good form too, however.

Bassett are unbeaten in eight games, their only defeat occurring against Salisbury way back in mid-September.

Appreciating that Newbury were unfortunate to be relegated from the South West Premier Division last season, Low insists his side are up for the challenge – despite admitting their underdog status.

He said: “Everyone in the league respects the fact that Newbury shouldn’t have been relegated last season.

“We all know the league rules at the start of the season, and bonus points are important.

“Newbury finished on the same number of wins as teams well above them last season, and that proves that they are in a good place.

“Results for them have been good, they haven’t even dropped a league point this year.

“But I’m looking forward to it. The challenge is there for the boys.

“When we’ve got a good and hungry group of players, it’s clear that they want to challenge themselves against the best.

“We know that we’ve still got a tough run before Christmas too.

“After Newbury we face Witney away, we want to get through this period still being in a strong position.”

Home advantage will count for something for Low, though, as Bassett look to maintain their unbeaten run on familiar turf.

Having moved grounds five years ago, the Bassett coach believes his side have become more comfortable with their surroundings – which can be used to their benefit when hosting the leaders tomorrow.

Low added: “We’re a young side, and one of the things they’ve managed over the past few years is learning how to play at home.

“When the club first moved five years ago, it took a while for the team to learn to play on their home pitch – that comes over a number of seasons.

“The guys are understanding how to play at home now.

“We’ve gone well at home, and we’re expecting a good day on Saturday.

“Newbury travel with an excellent run of form behind them, and we’ve got to make the most of the challenge come Saturday."