NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Godmanchester Rovers gearing up for a mouthwatering clash of the Thurlow Nunn League title hopefuls - and a familiar face is back on board

James Hall pictured during his last Godmanchester Rovers spell.

James Hall pictured during his last Godmanchester Rovers spell. - Credit: Archant

Godmanchester Rovers are gearing up for an early-season clash of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division titans under the Friday-night lights.

Rovers have enjoyed a terrific start to the new campaign with back-to-back league successes being followed by a pleasing FA Cup triumph last Saturday.

Now they return to league duty when hosting another team boasting a 100 per-cent record in the early stages of the 2018/19 campaign - Histon - at the David Wilson Homes Ground, 7.45pm.

And Rovers boss Ollie Drake expects his men to receive an acid test as they bid to continue a fine August.

He said: “We’re very happy with the way we have started the season, but we know we’re in for a very tough test against Histon.

“We are likely to have five players missing, but we still believe we have a good enough side to get something from the game.

“There seems to be a massive rivalry between the two clubs and I’m not really sure why as have only been in the same division for one season.

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“I get on really well with their manager, Lance Key, and have a few mates who play for the club as well, but we won’t treat it any differently to any other game.

“It’s the third league match of the season in August so it won’t decide anything, but it’s obviously one we’d like to win.

“I’m expecting a tight game between two teams who have started well, but we’re not at our best yet and I wouldn’t think Histon are either so early on.

“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we want to challenge for promotion and there is no doubt that Histon will be right up there doing the same.

“Hopefully we can attract a good crowd through the gate, but we have to ensure we play the game and don’t get lost in the occasion.”

Full-back Reece King, defender Arran Mackay, midfielder Buster Harradine, attacking ace Austen Diaper and utility man Luke Seaber-Shinn are all likely to be missing for Rovers, but former player-manager Chris Hyem is back after serving a three-match suspension.

And Rovers have been boosted by the return of prolific striker James Hall, who has signed on a dual registration deal from Step 4 side Cambridge City in time to face Histon.

Hall featured in the Rovers sides which finished as runners-up in 2014/15 and 2015/16 at this level.

Rovers have thumped Wroxham 5-0 and beaten Haverhill Rovers 1-0 in the Premier Division so far this term, with Histon having seen off the Haverhill side 4-0 before scraping past Long Melford 2-1.

Both club were successful in the FA Cup last Saturday against United Counties League Premier Division opposition. Rovers beat a tough Newport Pagnell side 2-0 while Histon spanked Peterborough Northern Star 6-1.