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Glassboys geared for Hemel "cracker"
2:00pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in Football
GARY Hackett says the scene is set for an “absolute cracker” when Stourbridge host Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday.
Third-placed Stour head into the clash knowing they can overhaul second-placed Hemel in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division standings with a win.
The visitors are the only side ahead of the Glassboys in the scoring charts but have seen the hosts edge ever closer to them in recent weeks.
Hackett said: “We are looking forward to Saturday, it’s a big game for us.
“Second-versus-third, it should be an absolute cracker.
“We realise we can go second if we win. Two months ago we were quite a few points adrift but we have clawed it back and are in contention.
“It’s a clash between the top two scorers in the division and hopefully we will see a bumper crowd.”
Leamington, who are five points ahead of Hemel and eight in front of Stour with two games in hand, remain the team to catch at the top.
And though the Brakes suffered a shock 6-0 home defeat at the hands of Barwell last Saturday, Hackett feels the odds are still very much in their favour.
He said: “It was a surprising result and they’ve had a few of them.
“But I think there is enough experience in their team to ensure they won’t blow it. That said, if they do slip up, we have to make sure we are in the best position to capitalise.”
James Spray, a 28 day loan signing from AFC Telford United, scored Stour’s goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Chesham United.
Ben Billingham then scored a hat-trick as the Glassboys beat ten man AFC Totton 3-0 on Tuesday.
Hackett said: “I was disappointed with the way we played at Chesham, I didn’t like the way we approached the game.
“Too many players under-performed and we were lucky to come away with a draw.
“On Tuesday the most important moment was scoring before half-time. Totton are another team who have come to our place with an ultra-negative attitude but after scoring I knew there was only going to be one winner.”
Midfielder Drew Canavan could return for the Hemel game after recovering from an eye injury.