Walsham try to repair damage

North Walsham need a good win at home to Bridgwater & Albion on Saturday (3pm) to repair the self-inflicted damage of last week's defeat at the hands of Westcombe Park.

North Walsham need a good win at home to Bridgwater & Albion on Saturday (3pm) to repair the self-inflicted damage of last week's defeat at the hands of Westcombe Park.

While the Scottow-based side have a formidable home record they will have to be at their sharpest to take the points from the fifth-placed visitors to maintain their pressure on National League Division Three South leaders Cambridge.

Walsham coach Jon Curry will, without a doubt, have made his feelings on the indiscipline at Westcombe Park crystal clear and moved on.

The pack, which was unchanged for last week's game, will definitely have one change, with Gideon Rossouw unavailable and likely to be replaced by Mark McCall, who stood in earlier in the season, picking up a try in the game against Bracknell.

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Despite his limited chances McCall always gives 100pc when called up and showed against Norwich in the Woodforde's Norfolk Cup game that with the ball in hand he takes some hauling down.

The rest of the pack, if injury free, is likely to be unchanged.

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One feature of the season has been the work rate of the forwards. The performance of the old hands is almost taken as read, but noticeable in recent weeks has been the way that Leon Davies, back after missing the whole of last season, and the quiet man, Kiwi Josh Reeves, have stepped up to the plate.

Andy Thorpe was missing last week with a groin strain and Curry will be hoping for a return from the pacy full-back. If he makes it then Curry will have the enviable task of having to choose between Will Hughes, Grant Pointer, Chris Godwin and Fedde Lingsma for the wing berths. In addition he has a fit-again Will Farrer and Jonny Wyatt keen for a recall.

The choice of scrum-half will again be between Arthur Delport and Lee Sandberg, with the former's fitness a contributory factor: Lee is benefiting from one-on-one coaching from Nick Youngs and looks better each time he steps out.

The previous seven meetings between the clubs have netted Walsham six wins, but that is history and the Somerset side's recent 10-try drubbing of Hertford made the pundits sit up and take notice and, although they failed to follow up last week with a home defeat to Lydney, they will, like most sides in the top half of the division, be hard to beat.

New recruits Jervis Manupenu and Faapolou Soolefiai, along with Neil Meyer, have revitalised their back division and the trio have run in 23 of their 51 tries.

In the away game back in October Walsham had one of their Jekyll and Hyde days, squandering a 13-point lead before dominating the later stages to run out 31-18 winners.

Before the kick-off there will be the presentation of the NCA December Kicker of the Month Award to Andy Dickson, who currently tops the divisional stats with an 81.82pc success rate and the Howes Percival Player of the Month award.

The Vikings have a trip to Reading for a Canterbury League game while the Warriors are still looking for a fixture.

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