Old rivals both need a lift from derby day

Wellingborough host Kettering in a big local derby this weekend
Wellingborough host Kettering in a big local derby this weekend
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Wellingborough welcome neighbours Kettering to Cut Throat Lane looking for a win to turn their season around.

Boro have lost their last seven games in Midlands One East and though they are safe from the drop, coach George Shipman is determined his side end their slump.

He said: “Staying in this league is a success for us this season, but we don’t want to keep this poor form going.

“We hope beating Kettering will help us kick on and finish the season on a high.

“Kettering are high up in the table and we haven’t been getting results recently, but it’s a different atmosphere when it’s a local derby.

“We beat Kettering twice a few seasons ago and they won the league. It’s always a big game when we play them.

“We should have plenty of support and they will bring people over as well.”

Shipman says Boro “didn’t really perform to the level we would want” when the sides met earlier this season.

Kettering ran out 27-15 winners at Waverley Road in November and the Blues go into the reverse fixture looking to put a disappointing defeat behind them.

They last week crashed out of the East Midlands Cup semi-finals, losing 21-8 to Old Scouts after being 8-0 up at half-time.

Coach Doug Bridgeman said: “We were fairly comfortable at half-time and maybe we thought we had done enough.

“But once Scouts scored a try the game changed and they thoroughly deserved to win.

“After the way that game went, and the fact we are playing Wellingborough, I wouldn’t think the players will need any motivating.

“Since the East Northants Cup stopped, we haven’t had too many local derbies.

“But I would think 80 to 90 per cent of those playing on Saturday will have come through the ranks and will know all about the rivalry between the clubs.”

Bridgeman reports George Newman is a doubt but Tom Bridgeman is expected to be fit after a bruising game for England Deaf last weekend.

Boro welcome Craig Marshall and Andy Fordham back into the pack and hope Joel Smith will also be available.