Preview: It all comes down to this


Tynedale - Credit: Archant

OAs need five points against Tynedale and hope Cinderford slip up to stay in National League One

Billy Johnson, the Old Albanian captain, is feeling good about his side’s chances ahead of their must-win clash with Tynedale on Saturday.

Cinderford and OAs have been locked in a relegation battle for the past month and it has all come down to the final day of the season.

If the Gloucestershire side get a bonus-point win in their game against Esher, OAs will be relegated to National Two South. Should they slip up, and pick up four points or less, OAs will be primed to leapfrog them in the table if they can inflict a heavy defeat on Tynedale.

“I feel better about this weekend than I have done in previous weeks,” admitted the captain. “If we play like we did on Saturday then we should be able to get the five points we need.”

After their crushing 51-19 win at Darlington Mowden Park, OAs are flying high, but they cannot underestimate Saturday’s opponents, especially after Tynedale won the reverse fixture 11-10 on the opening day of the season.

“We have to take Tynedale seriously; there’s every chance they turn up and play out of their skins,” he said. “All we can focus on is getting five points and hope Cinderford lose.

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“We struggled with Tynedale at the start of the season. They’re not a bad side and the fact that they’re relegated and have nothing to play for could make them difficult.

“On paper we should win. The motivation to stay in the league should give us the edge we need, but we have to go one better than last week.”

Topping Saturday’s performance will be no easy feat, but Johnson believes is can be done.

“We didn’t expect to go [to Darlington] win by that much. But that can happen this time of yearwhen one team is fighting relegation,” he said.