VICE-CHAIRMAN Paul Oakes is to take charge of Fairfield Villa for the first time since the end of last season as current manager Wayne Davis is away on a stag weekend.
Villa make the trip up to promotion-chasing Paget Rangers next Tuesday (7.45pm KO) knowing a victory or draw would bring an end to their Boldmere-based opponent’s hopes of securing promotion from Midland League Division Two.
But with first-team manager Davis missing, Oakes will be back in the dug-out for the first time since May last year where he ended the 2015/16 campaign with a 0-0 draw at Barnt Green Spartak.
Paul Wilkes will join Oakes on the touchline for the Paget clash and the pair have a full strength squad at their disposal.
“There are no easy games from now until the end of the season but we are confident of getting a result at Paget,” Oakes said.
“We beat them 4-3 in the Presidents Cup on the first time they played on the artificial pitch but they then turned us over 5-0 at our place.
“We have got some really tough league games against Alvis Sporting Club, Coton Green and Barnt Green Spartak to come.
“And if we got the three points on Tuesday we would be able to boost our hopes of a top four finish and put some difference between ourselves and Paget.”
Villa go into the game on the back of Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat to Redditch Borough in the semi-finals of the Evesham Hospital Junior Cup which followed Saturday’s 3-2 league victory over Earlswood Town.
Connor Collins gave the Villa the lead at the weekend but strikes from Daniel Jarrat and Stephen Nurse sent Town into the break 2-1 to the good.
But Collins scored twice in the second half to claim his hat-trick and complete the comeback for Villa who picked up a vital three points in their quest for a top four finish.
“It was not much of a spectacle on Saturday but the lads dug deep and I think we deserved the win in the end,” Oakes said.
“But talk about an up and down season because we followed that up with an appalling performance in the cup.
“There were no excuses about the strength of the team that was put out but the players looked very lethargic.
“It’s a shame we have not got a game this weekend but hopefully the lads can bounce back at Paget.”