AFC Uckfield v Langney Wanderers - Uckers aim to end their travelling with visit of Wanderers
After their three-month run without home action seemingly ended with a lengthy trip and 1-0 defeat at Surrey side Alfold, AFC Uckfield Town will hope conditions are on their side this weekend, aiming to return to The Oaks for the league visit of Langney Wanderers, writes Will Hugall.
Following a 3-1 loss at Eastbourne United AFC the weekend prior, the Uckers visited newly-promoted Alfold on Tuesday night with a sprinkling of new signings and the aim to continue a relatively good league run on the road – where, between trips to Eastbourne Town and their neighbours United, they were unbeaten in eight.
A scrappy 16th-minute goal from ‘Fold striker Tiago Andrade, however, proved decisive on a forgettable evening for the Uckers; one which was summed up for them by several frustrating near-misses amidst conditions that caused issues for both sides.
Their intent will be to change that tune this weekend, something in which home advantage could play a significant part.
Despite not consistently gaining points at The Oaks this season – suffering three defeats as well as picking up three league wins – their biggest losing margin has only ever been 2-1, and performances have been solid throughout.
That very fact should prove encouraging for Anthony Storey’s side, whose season had started to take a nomadic tone since late October, losing three home fixtures in that time to bring about their current 13-match stretch on the road.
With 13 home league matches still to play, in addition to a RUR Cup Semi-Final in which they host Peacehaven & Telscombe later this month, the possibility of a block of action at The Oaks in the springtime has been raised, in order to manage conditions.
With two mild days currently, however, hopes will be higher that some of that schedule can be completed this weekend against Wanderers, in what would be the 10th match against an Eastbourne-based side for the Uckers this season.
That manic run against sunshine coast outfits has seen several remarkable contests, including a 6-1 August win for the Uckers against Langney, then without a permanent manager after parting ways with Kenny McCreadie.
Since then, Wanderers have had one of the most notable seasons of any SCFL side. Simon Colbran and Daryl Willard have taken charge as a management team, and have since also become joint owners of the club, while plans have also been announced that the search for a new home ground is continuing.
Amidst those exciting stages in the club’s history, they have also enjoyed their strongest spell in the Premier Division since promotion in 2018, sitting as high as 5th before a recent winless run has seen them slip back to 11th.
Considering the fact that expectations have been managed by Colbran, and also that player recruitment has been relatively high, Wanderers appear to be having something of a breakthrough season, but will also want to return to winning ways on the pitch this weekend.
With the Uckers harbouring similar ambitions, the battle for points in a congested mid-table – where the Uckers and Wanderers are currently level on points – is expected to again be tight, especially since, with more regular action soon expected, momentum could be so crucial in coming weeks.
Conditions permitting, the SCFL Premier Division meeting between AFC Uckfield Town and Langney Wanderers will kick off at 3 p.m. this Saturday at The Oaks (Framfield, TN22 5QL). Directions to the ground are available here; http://www.scfl.org.uk/grounddetail.php?gnd_id=2.
Entry is £6 for Adults, £3 for Concessions and free for Under-16s.
In addition to updates on any potential pitch inspections, for those not able to make it to the match, goal updates will be available from the excellent @AfcUckfieldTown and @LangneyW Twitter pages. For all the post-match coverage, a full report will also be here in the hours after the game.