Must-win game for Norwich United – and Heybridge for that matter
- Credit: Archant
Norwich United host relegation-threatened Heybridge Swifts this afternoon with both sides in need of the three points.
The Planters, following last week's 4-1 home victory over VCD Athletic combined with favourable results elsewhere, find their faint play-off chances still alive.
However, with a five-point gap to fifth-placed Phoenix Sports they know that anything less than a win today will effectively end their chances.
Heybridge could have been forgiven for thinking they were safe when they beat Ware three weeks ago, Reece Grant's late goal giving them an eight-point safety margin. Two subsequent defeats, at Waltham Abbey and Aveley, combined with a resurgence in form from Ware, Soham and Brentwood, has seen that gap narrow to two points.
With their last two games against play-off bound Maldon & Tiptree and Phoenix Sports, they know they need every point they can get.
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Planters manager Steve Eastaugh could have a selection dilemma today – with top scorer Christy Finch unavailable last weekend Tim Henery bagged a second-half hat-trick. With the Bank Holiday Broadland derby coming up in just two days time the Planters will be hoping for a win today so it's not just pride at stake on Monday.
The bottom four teams have their own mini league this afternoon, with Wroxham desperate to keep their feet above water.
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Having moved off the bottom on goal difference, the Yachtsmen are at home to Ware, who are directly above them – although there is a mammoth 20 points gap between the two.
The team below them, Great Wakering Rovers are at home to fourth-from-bottom Brentwood Town.
Wroxham are hoping for a third successive reprieve from the drop, but to have any chance of that happening, they must avoid finishing bottom of the table.
If this afternoon's game isn't difficult enough, they have a short hop to Norwich United on Monday.
Dereham's season is ending without them troubling either end of the table. The Magpies are currently 15th in the table and have a difficult home game against fourth-placed Thurrock this afternoon.