A GREAT Rutland derby is on the cards with Uppingham Town and Oakham United both in great goalscoring form ahead of Tuesday’s match.
United scored nine in their opening two games, while Uppingham have hit 14 goals in their last three matches, including a fabulous 4-0 victory at home against last season’s Peterborough and District League runners-up, King’s Cliffe.
Rob Forster scored twice on Tuesday with Omar Elkashoty and Jamie Binley also on target, and a cautious Richard Kendrick admitted it was a bright start by his side.
The Uppingham boss said: “We have done very well and everything looks positive but we cannot get carried away. Some teams are not up and running yet. We have to take each game as it comes and see where we are at Christmas.”
On Tuesday they face Oakham, who were due to play Deeping Rangers Reserves last night, and Kendrick added: “It will be a very good test. It’s nice to be playing a derby when both sides are going well. May the best side win.”
On Saturday Uppingham beat Whittlesey United 4-1 at home and skipper Martin Bennett said the goal tally is a massive boost.
He said: “These results give you a bit of confidence. Last year we got off to a terrible start but this season there is a great atmosphere.
“To be honest the Whittlesey game was the worst we have played. We were three up after about 25 minutes but after that we took our foot off the gas.”
Martin Turiccki opened the scoring and Elkashoty doubled Town’s advantage from an acute angle after a run down the left. Forster made it three with what Bennett thought was the pick of the bunch, rounding the keeper to score after being played in by Dave Laughton. Whittlesey pulled one back before the interval but a low strike from Turiccki settled the result in the second half.
A constant squad and good pre-season training have been the key to Uppingham taking 10 points from 12 in their first four games, according to Kendrick.
The Uppingham boss added: “The lads look fit which is a credit to Mark Brotherton.
“We have played four games with hardly any changes to the side and that makes a difference.”
A settled side has also been the foundation for Oakham’s solid start to the season, with their opening day win followed by a 4-1 defeat of Ramsey at home on Saturday when goalscorers were Tom Bain, James Twose, and Nathan Arkle with a brace.
United’s joint bosses Pat Johnson and Andy Saddington were unable to pick the same starting XI for any back-to-back matches during the entire 2011-12 season but the team has remained unchanged for the first two games of this season which Oakham won in grand style, scoring nine goals in the process.
Johnson said: “This was the first time since Oakham United formed that the same team has played two weeks running.”
United formed through the merger of Oakham Imps and Rutland Rangers football clubs in 2011, and last season the squad took a while to gel. In contrast only one new player joined this summer – former Kettering U21 player Robbie Dance – and Oakham have a 100 percent record.
Before the visit of Uppingham, Oakham face the notoriously tough Parson Drove at home on Saturday.
Johnson said: “We have seven home games in our first nine matches so hopefully we can take advantage.”
Saturday’s match against Parson Drove kicks off at 2pm, and Tuesday’s derby at 6.30pm.