London Two North East: Jordan Wigham calls on struggling Romford & Gidea Park to handle pressure at relegation rivals Woodford
PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 April 2018
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After losing at home to Cantabrigian last Saturday, there is plenty riding on this weekend’s derby contest at Highams
Jordan Wigham is fully aware of the task at hand for his Romford & Gidea Park team this weekend at local rivals Woodford, but is remaining optimistic.
The Crow Lane club ended their home campaign with a frustrating 40-10 loss to Cantabrigian, which further increased the tightness at the bottom of London Two North East.
Sixth-placed Ipswich could still get relegated if results don’t go theie way which provides a tiny glimpse into the drama in store for Saturday.
Woodford currently occupy the final bottom-three spot, but a win for them at home to Romford would put Wigham and Steve Barfoot’s team into trouble.
“I think with the return of a number of key players, we can take the game, but it’s not going to be easy,” said Wigham.
“The pressure is on us and it’s how we cope with the pressure and the occasion which will determine whether or not we are going to win the game.
“We can’t afford to hope results go our way, so we need to get the job done on Saturday and win – end of story.”
If Romford were to lose at Woodford, they would still have a chance to stay up as they are one of four teams playing their final fixtures on April 21.
Wigham and Barfoot do not want to be in that situation, though, and are determined to end their bad form at Highams.
“We spoke on Saturday about the importance of this week and we welcome a number of players back,” added Park’s head coach.
“We are still missing a few, but I feel if we work hard, be focused and disciplined, we can get a vital win against a team in really good form at the minute.”
It seemed like Woodford were down in February, but they have won four of their five games since to give themselves a fighting chance ahead of their last match.
Last weekend the Highams club defeated fourth-placed Wanstead 19-14 away from home, while Romford lost to a relegation rival in the shape of Cantabrigian.
Nevertheless, Wigham believes the penny has dropped for some members of the Crow Lane squad.
He added: “Woodford got a great result against Wanstead, so they will be confident of getting another, but I feel after Saturday a few of our lads finally understand the extent of the job ahead.”
Romford have not won since January 27, but that must change this weekend and head coach Wighan will hope he isn’t required again after playing against Cantabrigian.
He added: “It was partly down to unavailability and also to try and give us a bit more go forward ball and a bit more in the pack. We got the go forward bit, but we again lacked execution.”
What didn’t help Park last weekend was an injury to Jeff Woods and a lack of clinical edge when in possession.
Dwayne Lyn and Pete O’Brien crossed over for tries, but Cantabrigian secured a solid 40-10 win after withstanding a bright start from the hosts.
Wigham said: “We started really well and should have been 19-0 up, but lacked the killer instinct we needed.
“We then lost Jeff Woods to a horrendous blow to the face and on top of that we struggled with another injury in the front row meaning we had to go to 14 players.
“A yellow card later on meant we had to play some parts of the game with 13 and no matter how good you are; you are going to find that hard.”