Boxing Day derby for Blues

BLUES will be looking for their biggest crowd of the season on Boxing Day when old rivals Harlow Town visit the ProKit UK Stadium, kick-off 1pm.
k3Stortford took the bragging rights when the sides met for the time in a competitive derby in 17 years when they met on August Bank Holiday as goals from Olutoyosi Olusanya, Jake Cass and Alfie Mason gave them their opening win of the season.
It proved to be the only win in Adam Flint’s 16 game reign as Stortford boss as his side were in dominant form in front of a 725 crowd to take all three points and send their neighbours to the bottom of the table.
Prior to that the sides hadn’t met since the 2001/2 season when they played in Division One of the Isthmian League (which was then the third tier of non-league football. The Boxing Day meeting at Woodside Park saw Blues stroll to a 4-1 win in front of a crowd of 717 while the return on Easter Monday saw Vinnie John score twice in the final five minutes to break the hosts’ hearts and seal a 2-1 win for the Blues.k5
Last season was certainly disappointing for the Hawks as they flirted with relegation, finishing in what would have normally been a relegation position, with crowds dropping to an average of 208. Thurrock and Lowestoft Town were beaten in the FA Cup before they went out against East Thurrock, while in the Trophy they went down 5-1 at home against Hampton after wins against Aylesbury and Dulwich Hamlet.
This year hasn’t been much better for the Essex side and they went into the Christmas fixtures sitting third from bottom in the Bostik Premier with 19 points from 21 games, and their 12 defeats included a 7-0 hammering at Kingstonian in October.
They went out of FA and league cups at the first stage with 2-1 home losses against Hendon and Potters Bar Town respectively, and while they defeated Whitehawk 3-2 in the FA Trophy they lost 3-1 at Carshalton Athletic in the following round.
Blues will have Luke Callander, Nick Brown, Ben Sampayo and Ryan Henshaw  available for selection after they missed last Tuesday’s 5-1 Velocity Cup win at Wingate & Finchley, but skipper Sam Robbins remains a doubt after limping off during the warm-up for that game.