Make or break time for champs

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Wroxham host CRC in the Ridgeons Premier today with boss Damian Hilton bracing his depleted squad for a make-or-break month.The champions must juggle the defence of their league crown with fighting on three cup fronts but Hilton has moved swiftly to replace departed strike duo Ben Thompson and Alex Notman.

Wroxham host CRC in the Ridgeons Premier today with boss Damian Hilton bracing his depleted squad for a make-or-break month.

The champions must juggle the defence of their league crown with fighting on three cup fronts but Hilton has moved swiftly to replace departed strike duo Ben Thompson and Alex Notman.

Hilton is poised to complete a deal for Swaffham's young goal getter Steve Harding while returning midfielder Lee Howlett impressed on his reserve outing last week.

Harding could be handed an instant debut with Justin Fox and Lee Gilman suspended for the majority of a hectic November. Hilton is poised to again deputise for skipper Graham Challen (stomach).

“I'm delighted to have signed on a free scoring player to replace Ben Thompson and Alex Notman,” said the Yachtsmen's player/boss. “Harding will definitely be in the squad. I shall be occupying the centre-back position for the time being and we welcome Lee back to the midfield. I have filled one vacant position up front with Harding only to be confronted with the problem of being without Lee Gilman so I shall probably switch Andy Key into that position.

“What with all these problems its going to be a very difficult November for us. We have to travel to Mildenhall in the Vase next Saturday, then it's Swaffham away in the Norfolk Senior Cup, Thetford Town in the league cup as well as fitting in Dereham at home in the league.”

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Lowestoft are in confident mood ahead of the trip to high flying Soham Town after a 5-0 romp over Swaffham - former King's Lynn midfielder Richard Woodrow notching a hat-trick.

“Saturday will be a very, very tough game - but we're looking forward to it,” said joint boss Micky Chapman. “We know if we can continue what we showed (against Swaffham), with the work rate and attitude, and add that to our quality we can make it tough for Soham.

“The attitude of the players was superb, the work rate added to our quality and football was awesome at times. Everyone is working really, really hard at the moment. We're striving for consistency but with the results we're taking it one game at a time.

“We led 4-0 at half time and carried it on in the second half - it's not just about the result it's the performance as well, which we were pleased with. Woody's hat trick was excellent - but he's a quality player. You can't rely on the strikers to score the goals, and we like to spread them across the side with goals from all areas. We're now working on things defensively as well, as we know with the quality and attack-minded players we have we can cause any team problems.”

King's Lynn Reserves can call on first teamers Rob Murray, Greg Lake and Jack Defty for Leiston's visit to The Walks with the Linnets' first team not on duty.

Kirkley and Pakefield midfielder Paul Highfield is set for 400th appearance at home to Ipswich Wanderers. Highfield has notched 116 goals for the Walmer Road outfit since making his debut at Stalham Town in 1997. Chris Henderson serves a one match suspension.

Dereham boss Rob Taylor has an injury doubt over Ollie Willis for the trip to leaders Needham Market. Adie Hayes is in line to return after missing the midweek goal less draw with Soham.

Norwich United could name an unchanged line up for Mildenhall's visit. The Planters' have a clean bill of health after beating Walsham-le-Willows on Tuesday.

Ridgeons Division One Fakenham Town have announced a three-year sponsorship tie up with local firm Kitchens Etc.

The bespoke kitchen design and manufacture company, based at North Creake just outside Fakenham, have agreed to sponsor the club's senior and junior sides.

“It comes at a time when clubs like ours are finding it increasingly difficult to manage their finances,” said Ghosts' chairman Nigel Allen. “We are extremely pleased and proud to be associated with Kitchens Etc, and find it very pleasing that companies such as Kitchens Etc support us in our efforts in running the club, helping to provide a good standard of football for all our players regardless of age or standing.”

Kitchens Etc owner Mick Murphy believes the club have a vital community role to play.

“I have been very impressed with the level of enthusiasm shown throughout the club for advancing the game of football locally,” he said. “The commitment from all the managers, coaches and staff is outstanding - there are a lot of very good people who work incredibly hard to provide a real community club and as part of our business in the community policy it's nice to be in a position to support them.”