Kirkley look to continue unbeaten run against Ely
Kirkley & Pakefield's six-match unbeaten run in the league will be put to its biggest test so far when they take on high-flyers Ely City at Walmer Road this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.
Paul Tong's arrival has heralded a change in the club's fortunes after a difficult start to the season and he former Great Yarmouth boss believes the future is bright for the Royals.
'I'm sure if everyone looks back over how we've played recently then there's no reason why we can't take this club forward,' said Tong, whose side put in a spirited display against neighbours Lowestoft Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday night before evenutally succumbing to a 2-0 defeat.
'To be honest though it's now all down to me. Robbie Horton has done a lot of work with them on the training pitch.
'Marty (Hubble) and Robbie have worked tirelessly and they are a credit to the club. It's a great partnership really – I've just come in and I've probably been a bit hard on the squad to try and get that will to win.
'If I'm honest I think the thing that was missing was the will to win and the desire but we're getting that now and we all want to take the club forwards.'
Dominic Smith has now recovered from a recent hamstring strain and will skipper the Royals against Ely, who have won their last four games in a row to rise to third in the table.
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Kyle Baker is pushing hard for a start after impressing in coming off the bench against Wisbech and Lowestoft
'Kyle has looked really sharp,' added Tong. 'We have to be a bit careful because he had a serious injury. To have Dominic back is a big boost for everyone - he has been fantastic for me since I came to the club.'
Russell Stock will also be available after Lowestoft Town sanctioned an extension to his loan deal at Walmer Road until the end of the season.
The striker has recently found his scoring boots, netting in three of his last four games in the league, and Tong thanks the Trawlerboys for allowing the loan to continue.
'It's a big plus for us and we thank Lowestoft for that,' added the Kirkley boss. 'Joe Clark has come back for the moment and we will wait and see what happens on that one.'
Wisbech will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against the Royals last weekend when they entertain a Gorleston side fresh from their victory over Diss in the Norfolk Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
League leaders Wroxham will look to crank up the pressure at the top of the table when they go to Haverhill whilst at the other end of the scale bottom side Great Yarmouth welcome Stanway as they look to enter a new era following new investment into the club.
Diss will be looking to ensure they don't get sucked into a relegation fight at home to Mildenhall whilst Dereham will be looking to put in a good performance against Hadleigh after losing to FC Clacton last weekend.
Norwich United go to Felixstowe & Walton as the Planters look to end a run of three games without a win in the league. Andy Key will play despite a back injury which is clearing up, while Jon Lovelock and Adam Bennett return to the squad. Kieran Doherty is out suspended and Paul Chick will also have to do without George Wilson and Jordan Blyth, who are unavailable.