JEFF Roberts hopes a second Southern League Division One South win in seven days can rid Highworth Town of the Christmas woes that saw them lose four games in succession.

Highworth host 17th-placed Slimbridge tomorrow (3pm) knowing three points could lift them to 12th in the division with Roberts’ men currently positioned in 13th with 28 points from 22 games.

Poor results against Larkhall Athletic, Cirencester Town, AFC Totton and Evesham United over the festive period look to have killed any hopes of Highworth pitching for a late play-off spot, but Roberts insists securing a mid-table finish is key if Town are to build on their promotion from the Hellenic League last season.

He said: “The conditions of the pitch didn’t help us last week (at Fleet Town). It made things a bit awkward when Toumani (Sidibi) was sent off with 30 minutes to go.

“I thought Fleet were a very good workmanlike side. They didn’t give us any time to put our foot on the ball and play on the floor.

“It was one of those pitches though where we just had to go long.

“The result took that edge of the bad spell we experienced over Christmas, which was tough for us.

“We played the likes of Evesham and Totton, it was a bad spell for us. But we must move on and concentrate on Saturday.

“At the start of the season we said we wanted to stay in the league.

“If we can finish in that mid-table position this year then we can build on that next year.”

Meanwhile, Roberts will be without three players tomorrow, including Toumani Sidibi – who starts his two-game suspension after being sent off in Town’s 4-3 win over Fleet Town last weekend.

Sidibi’s absence leaves Roberts thin on the ground, but he has faith in his younger players, who he believes are more than capable to step up to the next level.

He said: “It will be a tough one. We went down their earlier in the season and it will be one of those games where both teams go for it to try and secure the three points.

“We’re a bit tight on numbers, but we’ll bring in a couple of the young lads that are in and around the first-team – it will be a nice challenge.”