SIL Division One: Friendship on hold as Claydon host AFC Hoxne in potential promotion decider
PUBLISHED: 14:08 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:08 13 April 2017
Claydon boss Kenny Kennedy believes Saturday’s game with AFC Hoxne is a winner-takes-all affair.
The two teams are second and third respectively in SIL Divsion One, vying for promotion alongside Sporting 87 (1st) and Benhall St Mary (4th, two games in hand), with little between the four heading into the final few games.
Claydon went on a 10-game winning streak at the start of 2017, but have now lost two on the spin – 1-0 at Benhall and 3-2 at Stowupland Falcons.
“It’s squeaky bum time,” admitted Kennedy, who was part of the coaching staff at Hoxne last season. “It’s certainly set-up for a really exciting finish with us ending the season at Sporting and Benhall’s last game at Hoxne.
“I know Jamie Scales (Hoxne manager) and the boys there very well having helped them out last season. We won the Junior Cup together and I have a huge amount of time for him. I know he’s a bit of a Marmite figure on social media, but he’s a top man.
“We text each other all the time about how our teams are playing and fill each other in on what the opposition is like. It will be an odd feeling going up against each other on Saturday.
“Yes, I’ll know all about them and some weaknesses to exploit – we had a game plan for the reverse fixture and that worked out (won 3-2). Jamie will know all about us too.
“In an ideal world we’d both get promoted, but I can’t see that happening. Benhall are really strong and I can’t see them losing another game.
“I think whoever wins our game on Saturday will get a major psychological advantage going into the final few games and that could drive them over the line. It’s winner-takes-all – that’s how I see it.”
Kennedy added: “The last two weeks have been really disappointing for us and, no sour grapes, we haven’t deserved anything from those games. We’ve had a few players unavailable and that has affected us.
“We had a big turnover over players and staff last summer and so I don’t think anyone really anticipated us being in this sort of position come the end of the season.”
Sporting 87 are at Stowupland Falcons today, while Benhall host Wickham Market.