After the original fixture between the two was postponed in early November, AFC Uckfield Town and Steyning Town FC are certain to succeed in playing their first league meeting for five seasons tonight (Tuesday 17th), as the Barrowmen take up hosting duties at the Shooting Field in a pivotal game for both sides, writes Will Hugall.
With the hosts sit eighth in the SCFL Premier Division table at present, and the Uckers only two points behind in tenth, the game not only raises the prospect of a leapfrogging in the table, but will also be notable for the form of Uckfield and Gerry Murphy’s side.
When the sides were first meant to meet on November 9, Steyning had only just seen their 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended by Littlehampton Town.
Including that Sussex Senior Cup defeat, they have since failed to win in nine consecutive matches – albeit facing the in-form quartet of Eastbourne United, Langney Wanderers, Lancing and Eastbourne Town in that time.
Most recently, they came away with a highly creditable draw from the latter of those opponents, and have many more reasons for optimism as a result.
The Uckers, meanwhile, move onto their 11th consecutive away match at the Shooting Field. After two tricky cup visits to Binfield and Eastbourne Borough which ended in defeat, they have managed to recover, securing 1-0 wins at both Eastbourne United and Pagham.
The latter of those saw them return to the top half of the SCFL table – being only their fifth completed league match since September.
With neither of their two upcoming cup fixtures yet scheduled, Anthony Storey’s side will look to push on in domestic action by continuing that momentum.
They have been the busiest SCFL Premier Division side in terms of away matches this season – this being their 19th in all competitions to date – but the Uckers will certainly make few complaints about that; they boast 11 wins on the road, also the most by any side in the division.
In what could be a close match at the Shooting Field, goals could be in short supply if recent records are to be continued.
From their last five games, respectively, both sides have only scored four times, while their previous meeting – in the Sussex Senior Cup last season – ended with a 1-0 Uckers victory.
Conditions could change that dramatically, however, and with the Uckers never having previously played on an artificial version of the Shooting Field pitch, predictions could soon go out of the window depending on how either side is able to adapt on the night.
Steyning Town Community FC v AFC Uckfield Town kicks off at 7:45 p.m. tonight at the Shooting Field (Steyning, BN44 3RX), with directions to the ground available here; http://www.scfl.org.uk/grounddetail.php?gnd_id=44
Regular match updates will be available during the game from the @AfcUckfieldTown and @SteyningTown Twitter pages, while a full report will appear on the website here in the hours after the game.