Machin in charge as Abbey travel to MarlowBy Mike Mellor
January 06, 2012
Caretaker coach Ian Machin leads Reading Abbey as they make the difficult journey to Riverwoods to face local rivals Marlow in South West 1 East tomorrow (2.15pm kick off).
Machin has taken over from Adam Hurst until the end of the season after Hurst stepped down before Christmas due to work commitments.
Abbey are not at full strength, so colt Connor Keogh, who has been at the club since the age of six and is a student at University College Dublin, will be at fullback to cover Jack Parsons.
Elsewhere the backs will line up as normal.
In the pack flanker James Kerr has recovered from the knock he picked up playing sevens in Dubai, and he will complete a likely back row of Steve Willis and skipper Keith Wilkinson.
Machin said: “We’ve had a good rest, players have responded well to the step up in pace and intensity in training and all I ask is for them to maintain that in match situations.”
Pre-Christmas matches saw Marlow take an easy win over Olney to maintain their comfortable mid-table position, while Abbey were gifted a walkover victory when Coney Hill’s student-based team failed to raise a side.
First time round in September Abbey went down at home 32-12, where a good start and half-time lead was allowed to slip away.
Marlow have lost just one game at home, while Abbey, fourth from bottom, have won once on their travels.
In a league where the bottom six clubs trail well behind the rest, Abbey will need to pull out all the stops to get a result.