Boxing Day showdowns set to kick off

WOODFORD United have spurned the chance to join Daventry Town on 26 points before today’s Boxing Day derby.

The Reds were held to a goalless draw by Northwood at Byfield Road on Tuesday night.

It would come as no great surprise if the spoils were shared again today (3pm kick-off) when the Town will play their first Central Division game for more than a fortnight because of recent postponments against both St.Neots and Bedfont Town.

There are real problems with the drainage at Communications Park and repair work carried out this week came too late to prevent the NFA Senior Cup tie against Corby Town from being called off.

Quick-thinking Daventry officials arranged for the first round tie to be switched to the new Rockingham Triangle in a repeat of the 2009 Hillier Cup final which the Steelman won fortuitously by 3-2.

Today the Town will face a typically resilient Reds’ team which has bounced back quickly from the shock of losing top-scoring strikers Ricky Johnson and Alfie Taylor.

Taylor will wear a Daventry shirt while Johnson was named as Banbury United’s man-of-the-match going close to picking up a hat-trick when Ady Fuller’s Puritans overwhelmed Barwell by a 3-0 margin last weekend.

Weather permitting, Daventry will reach the halfway stage in their league programme when travelling to Marlow on New Year’s Eve. Victory then, and against Woodford, would take the Town on to the 32 points mark.

That would leave Mark Kinsella’s team seven points adrift of last season’s midway stage when the team went on to win 17 league games in succession between late January and early April.

Whatever the outcome at Byfield Road today the UCL clash between Daventry United and Long Buckby looks a lot easier to predict providing Communications Park stands up to any further rain.

The Bucks have won all 15 Premier Division games so far and it will come as a major surprise if Russell Dunkley, Rob Foster and co. fail to extend the winning streak against a United side which has struggled to steer clear of the relegation zone.