Match Preview: Stotfold (H) – League
By Leon Waite – @leonwaite98
An attritional affair at Bedfordshire neighbours Arlesey Town on Tuesday night ended in stalemate as Sam Holmes’ strike was cancelled out by Billy Lannon. Departing New Lamb Meadow with a point against a side sitting in sixth place is a respectable result under the circumstances and ensures United’s positive response to losing for the first time in thirteen league games a couple weeks ago continues.
And it’s imperative that this youthful squad demonstrate a high level of maturity amid a second managerial change announced on Thursday. Alex Salvador is stepping up from his role as assistant coach that he assumed in November following Emilio Guttierez’ return to Spain to take a reputable position as boss of UD Tomares’ under-18s.
Jimmy Martin’s premature departure in November didn’t hamper the club’s upward trajectory and this squad will undoubtedly respond in a similar manner to this latest shift at the top with Salvador’s first assignment arriving in the shape of another local derby against familiar foes Stotfold.
The Eagles finished bottom of the pile last season and have struggled similarly this term with twelve points from their twenty-three matches seeing them propping up the division once again.
However, despite their lowly position, Stotfold’s two league wins this year have actually come in their last two games as they prevailed 2-1 against Arlesey and Harpenden Town respectively. Prior to that they picked up credible points at title frontrunners Biggleswade FC and at home to fifth-placed Potton United so they’ve shown tangible improvement.
United’s 4-2 victory over the Eagles last time met was vital as it halted a run of four consecutive defeats against their rivals, including a 2-0 loss in the North Beds Charity Cup final back in 2017.
Stotfold will be hoping to regain the upper hand in this fixture, while Alex Salvador seeks to make a strong start to his reign in charge when United play hosts on Saturday, KO 3pm.