BRIDGWATER Town player-manager Dave Pearse is looking forward to an away double-header which will go a long way to defining where the Robins finish this season.

Buckland Athletic, who Town beat 4-1 in a standout display in October, are the opponents today (ko 3pm) - subject to a 10.30am pitch inspection after heavy rain - before a quick turnaround sees the Robins head to Melksham Town on Monday night (ko 7.30pm).

Those two sides are immediately above sixth-placed Bridgwater, with Pearse admitting it “doesn’t get much tougher” than the two fixtures which lie in wait.

The striker said: “We know that we have to be fully prepared and on our game if we are to get anything from either of those games.

“Having said that, we are the form team and these next matches will help decide where we end up.

“If we win both, we can have a real go at finishing in the top four - if we lose both, suddenly we are looking at eighth or ninth.

“A lot can happen in the run-in, as I’ve seen before.”

“When I was with Barnstaple we were eighth on March 1 but ended up winning 15 of our last 18 games to finish joint-top, second on goal difference.

“I’m not saying we are going to do the same - the title is a long way off - but we can have a real crack at the top four with some good results in the next couple of games.”

Town’s big squad will help them cope with the quick turnaround, while a lack of injuries is also pleasing for Pearse.

“We are at full strength on Saturday with the exception of Mike Duffy, who is in Australia,” he said.

“We will have to use our squad effectively as a few of the lads can’t play on Monday night, but we are lucky to be able to call on such quality and depth.”

The trip to Melksham on Monday also offers a chance for revenge, with the hosts having knocked Town out of this season’s FA Vase after a replay.

“We owe them one after that but they are gunning for promotion so it will be tough for us, especially coming so soon after Buckland,” Pearse said.

The recent poor weather and postponements have led to the topic of a winter break returning to the agenda, though Pearse is sceptical about altering the footballing calendar.

“I’m not keen,” he said.

“I just think we’ve got to get on with it - a break would only mean having to play more at the start and the end of the season to fit the games in.

“I appreciate it’s difficult for clubs higher up with the travelling, but that’s an issue for the leagues to sort out with the regionalisation rather than bringing in a break.”


ELSEWHERE today, Middlezoy Rovers host Watchet Town in the Somerset County League Premier & First Division Cup.

The tie pits the fifth and third-placed Premier Division teams against one other and should be a cracker.

Bridgwater Town Reserves travel to Staplegrove in the Premier Division, boosted by an outstanding win over league leaders Chilcompton Sports on Wednesday night.

Bridgwater's win, courtesy of goals from Ash Tandy and Liam Winter, lifted them up to 10th place while also blowing the title race wide open.

They are 10 points ahead of second-bottom Staplegrove, who will be eager for a result to help them escape relegation.