JOINT-BOSS Wayne Oliver has warned Droitwich Spa will be in for a tough, physical battle when they make the trip to Hampton this weekend.
The Saltmen return to Midland League Division Two action on Saturday knowing they are already playing catch-up at this early stage of the season.
Tenth-placed Spa have only played five games so far, three games less than their Solihull-based opponents, but Oliver admitted that has come at the cost of being involved in the FA Vase, Polymac Packaging League Cup and Worcestershire FA Saturday Junior Cup.
However, the Spa boss says the focus is getting their league campaign back on track against a much-improved Hampton outfit.
“In recent seasons they have been down the bottom but they seemed to have recruited very well this year,” said Oliver, who will be without Matthew Hunt (work), Adam Granger (back), James Lemon (suspended) and Chris Glover (suspended).
“Regardless of what league position they are in they always provide us with a tough test and I expect it to be a physical battle.
“It’s not the best of places in the world to visit but we are going to have to be at our best to come away with the three points.
“We will just have to wait and see which Droitwich team actually turns up.
“It’s not ideal we are playing catch-up well before Christmas but hopefully we can have a few midweek games to ensure we do not have a hectic schedule before the end of the season.”
Spa go into their league game on the back of an impressive 2-0 victory over fellow Division Two side Montpellier in the WFA Saturday Junior Cup.
Bradley Burgess gave the Saltmen the lead midway through the first-half before Nick Seabourne booked the hosts’ place in the next round 13 minutes from time.
And Oliver was impressed with how his players stacked up against a side which sits third in the table after their promotion from Midland League Division Three last term.
“It was our best 90 minutes of the season,” he said.
“We were excellent from the start right through to the very end.
“We adapted to the conditions well and we worked hard for each other in a game which was very open.
“I would not say the lads have set a benchmark yet because at the moment it is about getting a consistent side out.
“We want to get to a point where the same team is playing week in, week out which is half the battle.”