Ransomes Sports host Halesworth Town in a SIL Senior Division clash this weekend (29th Oct) at Sidegate Avenue (KO 2.30 pm). This should be a fixture richly loaded with all the right ingredients of a good football match where both sides are expected to oblige and contribute. Expect an incident-fest clash, a contest where the rhythm is jab-jab, thrust-thrust and counter punch as these two heavyweights go head-to-head.
After six wins on the spin, Ransomes stalled against Westerfield last week. This was a reality check for any title pretensions they hold although they still remain unbeaten. For the second successive weekend they wobbled but there was no repeat of the fortune against Wickham Market where they scrapped through a chaotic match to secure a late win.
Before last weeks draw with Westerfield, Ransomes had not drawn a game since their stalemate with Coplestonians last December but despite this, and perhaps more relevant, their position in relation to the other top contenders remains unharmed. Hopefully, last week was a lesson Ransomes will learn from as they certainly wanted to win. Another sloppy performance against Halesworth this week will certainly not go unpinished.
Ransomes will enjoy the fact that this particular test is coming now because to play against Halesworth is not simple. They are a team that, if they don't make mistakes, will always be a top side fighting for the title and trophies. It will be a good step to take for Ransomes at this stage of the season and they will need to play with personality, and try to win the game. Last season Ransomes flunked it, losing out to Halesworth in the semi-final of the league cup and also at home in the league the following week. Ransomes now need to take the scalp of an age-old nemesis to fully assert their credentials - they have a point to prove, but both teams will be wary of the threat the other poses.
Halesworth have a growing chemistry in attack having scored 25 goals in their first 7 league games, 20 goals coming from their front three this season - Ransomes meanwhile have scored 21 in 6. Each team can be ruthless in front of goal but whilst the attacking riches of both sides enthral, it could be the defensive pedigree of either side that ultimately shapes the outcome of this match.
The Halesworth faithful will turn up expecting three points as well as the usual excellent entertainment so Ransomes will need to win their personal duals if they want to prevent a similar outcome to last season. Whilst Halesworth look quietly self-assured before the trip to Sidegate Avenue, their manager knows there will be little room for error.
Can Ransomes maintain their unbeaten start to the season or will Halesworth continue to hold the Indian sign over their hosts? Come along Saturday to find out - it will be intriguing to see how these two sides respond, whilst leaders Henley Athletic can have fun sitting back and seeing who comes off worse.