Ransomes Sports entertain Benhall St. Mary this weekend (19th Nov.) in the SIL Senior Division (KO 2.00 pm) in what will be their last home league fixture of 2022.
Ransomes may well have beaten Wickham Market in the cup last week but a forensic examination is required into what is lacking in the teams focus following the surrender of a two goal lead. They were relentless in their mode of play right from the onset, cruised into a two goal lead and then some sloppy defending allowed Wickham Market to take the game to penalties. It was a thrilling contest that Ransomes eventually won in unconvincing fashion and it provided as many questions as answers.
Based on this, Benhall St. Mary may well look at this fixture as an opportunity to rekindle their season. The Badgers have a decent record against Ransomes, and they have never lost at Sidegate Avenue. Last season they edged a narrow 1-0 victory against the run of play, and they will want to keep that sequence going when the two sides meet on Saturday.
It will be tough for them because these are difficult times for Benhall at the moment. They are currently bottom of the table and pointless from their opening 10 league fixtures. They have conceded 36 league goals, more than any other side in the Division, and have scored only 8, the lowest return of any team in the Division. It is looking increasingly like a long, hard season ahead already for Benhall and another defeat at the weekend would see them at risk of being further cut off at the foot of the table.
They would undoubtedly welcome some kind of positive outcome from this match up, but you expect Ransomes to have the attacking armoury to claim the win. Ransomes will therefore need to demonstrate these qualities (and continue them) throughout the entire match as well as not appearing to be a misfiring proposition once they are ahead in a game. They will also need to add caution against any excessive optimism, and guard against any sense of complacency because Benhall will provide an awkward opponent, despite their surprise presence in a relegation battle.
There is nothing more important in football than the ability to score, so, can Ransomes press the reset button, start well and get even stronger as the game continues, or will Benhall St. Mary continue to maintain their impressive record against the hosts, and pick up their first points of the campaign?