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FOOTBALL: Positive Knitters bid to sink leaders.

HINCKLEY UNITED are in a positive frame of mind for their trip Havant and Waterlooville, the Premier Division's only unbeaten club, tomorrow.

The top-of-the-table Hampshire side have won five and drawn five of their ten matches.

Knitters boss Dean Thomas said: "They are, by all accounts, the best team in the division but we have no need to fear them,"

And the Knitters, second highest goal-scorers in the league, are certain to go there looking for maximum points. Thomas added: "It is widely felt that Havant are the team to beat this season and looking at what they have done so far this season, that does not look too wide of the mark.

"But on our day we have the ability to get a result down there. We shall go in a positive frame of mind and if we were to convert some of the many chances we have been creating then I would fancy us."

But Thomas has lost the skills of defender Neil Cartwright who has a fractured arm that will see him sidelined for at least a month while Gavin O'Toole and Andy Penny are struggling with groin strains, Penny having more chance of being fit than O'Toole.

Hinckley United (from): Beattie, Lenton, Hadland, Penny, Storer, Eustace, Titterton, Coates, Brennan, O'Toole, Lucas, Hunter, Morrell, Wilkes, Steane, Gordon.

MICHAEL STEPHENSON makes first appearance of the season for Stratford Town tomorrow.

The striker, who has been on his regular summer coaching stint in America, turns out for Stratford's FA Vase second qualifying round trip to fellow Midland Alliance Ludlow Town.

And manager Lenny Derby is grateful to have Stephenson back - Scott Darroch is only one week in to a 35-day suspension and Tyrone Fagan, who made a goal-scoring debut in last week's 3-2 reverse at Halesowen Harriers, is ineligible.

Defender Carl Nolan is out with groin injury as Stratford aim to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Halesowen. "That was just not good enough - I will be looking to the lads to bounce back and show me what they are made off," said Derby.

Stratford Town (from): Ayres, Gallagher, Cooper, Collinson, Forsdick, Sheward, Amos, Halford, Finn, Stringer, Woodfield, Spacey, Heggarty, Brant, Dickson, Stephenson.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 21, 2001
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