TWO local Division 2 sides clash this weekend, with three points vital to the rest of their season,at stake.

Mathern FC – in their first season in the division – welcome local rivals Blackrock Rovers to their ground hoping to record their third victory in such meetings this season.

They won the first clash 4-0 back in September, then edged an

Amateur Cup tie 4-3 on penalties after the match ended at 4-4 after extra time on 6th December.

Since then, with so many league games postponed due to weather and other cup competitions, Mathern have won only once – at home to Sebastopol a week after the Blackrock match.

They still have to add a point to their league tally this year following Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by promotion hopefuls Tredegar Athletic.

Rovers, on the other hand, enjoyed a 4-1 win at Mardy to move into 15th place, level on points with Mardy but still in danger, so three points for either team could signal the start of a late-season rally.

Mathern are relatively safe in eighth place, but with 39 points still up for grabs, they will want to turn the corner – even if it is at the expense of their near-neighbours.

Kieron Nesbitt, Ben Smith, Chris Wilson and Sam Watkins scored against Mardy to give manager Paul Lovell's side a welcome boost of confidence.

"We were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to Keiron and Ben, then added a third after the break," said Lovell.

"They pulled one back but Sam made it 4-1 and Dan Baker made a fingertip save to deny them from the penalty spot

"It was a good, all-round performance although we did use up a few lucky charms."

Lovell also sees Saturday's match as having extra importance for both sides.

"We know we will be up against it at Mathern but we are planning to hurry them and put them out of their stride as they completely outplayed us in the reverse fixture on our pitch.

"They are a good side and we need to be at the top of our game to contain them."

There was disappointment too for Thornwell Red & White boss Steve Bidmead after the Division 3 side lost 4-1 at Tranch.

"We had a goal disallowed and three of theirs were given when they were offside," he said.

"Things are just not going for us this season but we will keep going and hope we can stay up."

Thornwell are fourth from bottom and have a five-point cushion over the team below them so they will need to get back to winning ways soon.