Reading boss Bartley braced for Highmoor battle

Published: 27 Apr 2012 08:000 comments

READING Town manager Mark Bartley has warned that there will be no place for 'shrinking violets' when his side take on local rivals Highmoor Ibis in the final of the Hellenic Supplementary Challenge Cup this Saturday (3pm ko).

Reading Town manager Mark Bartley.

Reading Town manager Mark Bartley.

Both Reading-based teams go into the match at Didcot Town FC in fine form, with Town dropping just seven points in their last 12 Hellenic Premier matches and Highmoor winning promotion from Division One East.

As as well as the occasion, the contest is made even more mouthwatering by the connections between the players and management staff.

The two managers - Bartley and Highmoor's manager Shane Small-King - are lifelong friends, and play together for Sunday football side Dee Road Rangers.

They are joined by a number of Reading and Highmoor players in a side that have gone undefeated in their division this season.

Throw in Highmoor's poor disciplinary record this season and accusations of 'bullying' from opposition teams, and the stage looks to be set for a memorable contest.

"Highmoor will be an interesting game and a great occasion on Saturday," Bartley told the Chronicle. "I know people have said that Highmoor bully sides, but we are a side that can't be bullied, we are not worried about that at all. "They like to play hard and so do we, it won't be a game for shrinking violets, I'm expecting a tough contest and we relish that. We're looking forward to it.

"Highmoor have done very well this season, they've pushed some Premier Division sides and finished second in their division, but I am always confident in my side."

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