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Sykes seeking home comforts this Christmas

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 19, 2012

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BACK-TO-BACK home wins would be the perfect early Christmas present for Bishop's Cleeve manager Alex Sykes – and the Villagers boss is hoping that bumper festive crowds come to watch.

Cleeve welcome Abingdon United to Kayte Lane tonight (7.30pm) before hosting North Leigh on Saturday afternoon.

And with the local derby with Evesham United awaiting on Boxing Day, Sykes would like nothing more to approach the game with a win.

And after banishing their home hoodoo with a 4-1 success against Didcot Town in their previous Kayte Lane encounter, Sykes is hoping for more.

"It was a great performance against Didcot and that had perhaps been coming," Sykes said.

"The conditions weren't ideal and it was hard work just to get the game on.

"But the pleasing thing was that we scored four goals, which I think is a first under my management.

"We weren't able to follow that up on Saturday against Swindon Supermarine, but they've won ten in a row.

"We matched them and were just caught by some rough decisions but we can take a lot from the performance."

Sykes is confident of being able to welcome Forest Green Rovers youngster Saul Williams into the squad for tonight's game.

He hopes the winger will be able to help fire ammunition to revitalised striker Jake Lee, after the former Cheltenham Town professional was shifted forward from centre half for the Didcot win.

"Jake was excellent in the Didcot game, held the ball up really well and deserved his goal," Sykes said.

"Saul will hopefully be added to the squad in time too. He's come with a great recommendation from Dave Hockaday and a month with us will do him the world of good.

"We're coming up to a really busy time with the Christmas period and these two games in the lead up start that run of games.

"Abingdon have had a tricky run recently and we had been on something of a roll before the Supermarine game and we want to keep that going.

"Hopefully with there not being too much other football around on Wednesday or Saturday, with Cheltenham away on Friday night, people will pop along to watch us.

"A few extra people in makes a massive difference to a club like ours and it would be nice to see a decent crowd."

Sykes has seen a move for former Cheltenham Town scholarship player Charlie Hitchings, now at Mangotsfield United fall down, after he had put ten days notice in for the defender.

Otherwise he has no fresh injury concerns, with Gloucester City loanee Matt Liddiard set to beef up the midfield, with assistant boss Matt Rose dropping back to replace Lee at centre-half.

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