Plymouth Argyle will be looking to put their midweek loss to Cambridge behind them as they prepare to face Rotherham United at Home Park this Saturday.
The Pilgrims’ 2-0 defeat on Tuesday was their first loss in four league games, having won their previous three Sky Bet League One games in a row.
Argyle host Rotherham United at the Theater of Greens in what could prove to be a vital game in Steven Schumacher’s side’s bid for a play-off spot.
But there are also plenty of other matches involving local teams this weekend, so here are a few.
Larkhall Athletic v Plymouth Parkway:
Plymouth Parkway will be looking to gain ground on the play-offs as they head to Somerset to take on Larkhall Athletic.
Lee Hobbs’ side currently sit eighth, nine points out of the Southern League Division One South play-off positions, but with six games in hand at Bristol Manor Farm in fifth.
Parkway comes into this game fresh off three wins in their last five outings, with a 6-1 demolition of Slimbridge AFC topping the results.
Larkhall Athletic sits just below Parkway in 10 and having respectively won two of their last five games.
And with both teams looking to get back on track after recent postponements, there’s everything for an entertaining clash.
The match will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Plain Ham Ground BA1 6NS
“It feels like forever and that’s when you don’t have midweek games,” Hobbs said. “But we trained two or three times, we also went to the boxing gym in this window and we are ready to go. We are really looking forward to this meeting.
It’s not uncommon for Hobbs to take his players to a boxing gym – or for footballers in general to train like that – and enjoy a change of scenery from the usual routine of working out at the gym and the gym. ball. Speaking of the benefits it can bring, Hobbs said, “It’s about conditioning and it’s a different environment.
“There’s also a different voice leading the session, it’s good for the team spirit and it’s hard work. The boys loved it.
“I wouldn’t say we have aspiring boxers, maybe to fight kippers, but I don’t think they could box people’s heads!”
However, he will be out of the ring and back on the court this weekend with the trip to Larkhall, which sits two places but seven points behind Hobbs and co.
You feel that if they’re going to push for the play-offs, this is a game Larkhall needs to win, arguably more than Parkway. That said, given Bolitho Park’s ground problems at the moment, playing away might not be a bad thing for the Yellows.
“Are they better surfaces?” asked Hobbs. ” We do not know. You’ll just have to get out there and see what the surface looks like but, listen, it’s that time of year where wherever you go the pitches are heavy unless it’s somewhere like the AFC Totton, whose ground is maintained by Southampton and they have a much bigger budget than everyone else. I’m sure Larkhall will always have its problems.
“We can only focus on ourselves and as I always say if you come out of a loss or a draw it’s very important that you bounce back with a win next time and that’s what what we are going to do there. to do.
“We know they’re a tough team and the venue is hard to get to. We have to be at our best to go there and win, that’s what we have to do to maintain our own push to get up the ladder and getting into the places we want to be, but we know it will be hard work in order to do so.
One downside for Parkway is that on loan Plymouth Argyle striker Rhys Shirley has returned to Home Park and is set to miss the rest of the season. That leaves Parkway with one less forward option, but Hobbs is relaxed about the situation for now.
“It’s not good for Rhys, unfortunately he had his CT scan and it showed a tear in his meniscus,” Hobbs said. “He went back to Argyle and that will probably be him now for the rest of the season.
“We wish him well and thank him for the service he has given us over the past two or three months and we wish him well in his recovery.
“We still have two good strikers and I’m happy with that. I have 18 men and that leaves us plenty to run the 15 games we need to play and if anything changes we will look at it, but I have two numbers 9 recognized (Adam Carter and Tom Bath) and Jack Crago can play there as well.”
Saltash United v Keynsham Town
Saltash United will want to claim four out of four wins in all competitions when they host Keynsham Town at the Kimberley Stadium in the Toolsstation Western League.
The Ashes will be looking to build on their impressive form of late, which included a 9-0 hammering of league bottoms Bridport and a win over Exmouth Town in the cup.
Dave Bunney’s team will want to climb as high as possible in the table, with a win that could take them to fifth place if the results are good.
However, beating Keynsham won’t be an easy task, with the two sides only separated in the table by goal difference after the away team secured three straight wins.
The match will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Kimberely Stadium PL12 6DX
Ivybridge Town v Bodmin Town
Ivybridge Town will be aiming for a place in the semi-finals of the Walter C. Parson Cup, as they host Bodmin Town in the Erme Valley.
The Ivys have had a relatively comfortable run so far, brushing off Torrington AFC 5-0 before edging past Brixham AFC in the previous round.
Bodmin Town also made work easier in the early rounds, putting six ahead of Callington Town and Wendron United en route to the quarter-finals.
So Darren Stewart will know his team needs to be in top form if they are to overtake Bodmin and advance to the final four of the competition.
The match will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Val d’Erme PL21 9ES
Tavistock v Bridport
Tavistock manager Stuart Henderson has warned his players that places are by no means guaranteed in his starting XI, regardless of a player’s performance this season.
The Lambs have had a fine campaign so far and sit atop the Toolstation Western League Premier Division with a seven-point gap to second-placed Exmouth, who have a game in hand, and 12 to third-placed Mousehole, who can go co-top by winning their four games in hand.
Tavi takes a break from league action today as they again attempt to play out their Les Phillips Cup clash with bottom Bridport, but Henderson demands high standards from his players as the season reaches a fascinating climax.
“The team is getting where we want to be,” Henderson added. “The problem is that some of them are too inconsistent; players have come off the bench and done well and then when you throw them in games we haven’t always had it.
“For me, he’s looking for that consistency and I think we have players who are better suited to certain games than others depending on the opposition and the pitch.
“At this level the players work all week and football is a release and they want to play but, where we are and where we are trying to get, it’s not about 11 players, I need rotate the team and we have 16-17 strong players who can all compete.
“Someone asked me what my strongest XI is and it’s difficult because it depends on the opposition and where we play.
With just nine league games remaining this season, the clash against Bridport adds extra significance as a win would guarantee Tavistock a place in the next round of the competition at home to Helston Athletic – and the games are what Henderson wants, with so many of blank weekends in the calendar by the end of the season.
“A win would guarantee us another game and it would also give me the opportunity to rotate the team,” Henderson said. “We want games – we have Exeter City in the Devon Bowl which will be difficult, but if we can get two or three Cup games to go along with our Championship games then that would be great.”