BOSS Mark West admits he is proud of Thame United’s progress as he celebrates 12 years in charge this week.

Taking over with the club languishing in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, the manager has overseen a superb transformation.

Thame occupy the final play-off place in the Evo-Stik South League Division 1 Central table, and West looks back with glee on the giant strides the club have made over the past decade, both on and off the pitch.

“From where we were 12 years ago, we’ve made brilliant progress really,” he said.

“We dropped into Division 1 East of the Hellenic League in that first year, so we’ve done a lot of rebuilding and I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

What West did not enjoy, however, was watching his side crash to a 3-2 defeat at Ardley United in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup in midweek.

And he is demanding an improvement when they travel to Kempston Rovers tomorrow.

“We were so poor,” he said.

“We gave away three of the worst goals you’d ever want to see, it was really sloppy.

“I think the boys have been a bit down with the defeats to Didcot and Bromsgrove, but the performance against Ardley was atrocious at times.”

Harry Mepham (groin) is doubtful.

Didcot Town boss Andy Ballard says his side need to refocus following their 3-2 defeat at Bedford last weekend.

The Railwaymen are fourth in the table, but after back-to-back defeats need a positive result at home to Yaxley to build some momentum.

And their manager, who names an unchanged squad, is looking for a reaction.

“As a group, we were really disappointed by last week’s result,” he said.

“Credit to Bedford, they defended well and we just couldn’t get ourselves back in the game after going behind.”

North Leigh and Kidlington will both be looking to climb out of the relegation zone.

The Millers travel to Cambridge City, while the Greens host Welwyn Garden City.

North Leigh joint manager Craig Dore names an unchanged squad and is hoping a positive result will give the whole club a lift.

“Cambridge have a great non-league history, but we have nothing to fear,” he said.

“We’ve played well against the so-called better sides, and have shown some really positive signs lately.

“We have a massive month coming up, and if we can pick something up at Cambridge, that will be a massive boost for us.”

Kidlington boss Julian McCalmon is hoping to bring in a new striker for their home clash against Welwyn, but otherwise also names the same squad that was due to take on North Leigh last week, only for the snow to intervene.

Banbury United travel to Royston Town in Premier Division Central, bidding to build on their good recent form.

The Puritans have picked up ten points from their last five league games, although any hopes of reaching the play-offs have been seemingly ended by a four-point deduction for an administrative error.

Midfielder Sean Whaler could make his Banbury debut after joining on a youth loan from Northampton Town this week.

The 18-year-old has featured twice for the Cobblers’ first team this season, both appearances coming in the Checkatrade Trophy.


Banbury Utd (v Royston Tn, away): from Harding, Awadh, Taylor, Nash, Wise, Shamsi, Hawtin, Henderson, Johnson, Kaziboni, Rasulo, Hottor, Diggin, Odhiambo, Whitehead, Heapy, Whaler.

Thame Utd (v Kempston Rovers, away): from Hill, Lynn, Essex, Tutton, Tack, L Goss, Sturgess, West, Peake-Pijnen, Ashworth, Jewell, Martin, Evans, Murray, Gledhill.

Didcot Tn (v Yaxley, home): from Bedwell, Barder, Carnell, Learoyd, Thomas, McNish, Humphries, M Williams, Taverner, Gardner, Dennis, Hackett, Hayden, L Williams.

North Leigh (v Cambridge City, away): from Cavanagh, Ngathe, Gunn, A Grant, Peart, R James, H Grant, Linford-Pill, Alabi, Landers, Seacole, D James, Martei, Pin, Saunders, Singh.

Kidlington (v Welwyn Garden City, home): from Warrell, Castle, Quainton, Carbon, Bernasconi, Franklin, Martin, Gabbidon, Willoughby, Osborne-Ricketts, Benjamin, Coyle, Tooke, Browne, Odhiambo, Williams, Stanbridge, Cowlishaw, Thorne.