TEAM manager Colin Henderson is expecting it to be an emotional day tomorrow for Lydney if they secure National Three promotion, writes Laura Fell.
At the start of the season coach Duncan Bell said that his side were determined to climb back up to National Two to honour the memory of club stalwart Gordon Sargent, who passed away last summer after a short illness.
Lydney are currently 17 points at the top of the table.
Victory over basement boys Chippenham tomorrow (3pm) will secure both the title and promotion, with just two games remaining.
And Henderson, who said Sargent (inset) was one of his best friends, knows how happy promotion would have made the club legend.
He said: “Promotion will be fantastic for the supporters and for the players, but none would have held it more dearly than Sarge.
“It is our objective achieved. We have got back up to National Two on our first try.
“I knew Sarge for more than 40 years and I’m if we do beat Chippenham it will be a very emotional day.
“It would mean a lot to the club, as it did when we unveiled the Gordon Sargent stand.
“He would have just been glad to get us back to where we naturally belong.”
But Henderson is not taking victory for granted.
Top may be playing bottom in the league but Lydney cannot be complacent.
Henderson added: “Chippenham are coming to Regentsholme and they are fighting for something.
“It is not a given, it is never easy. We must treat it as any other game. But it will be great to secure promotion at home. On form we should do it, but you never know.
“We are having front row problems with Seb Merritt out (biceps) and Duncan playing for Newport Gwent Dragons but it is all going well.”
Former England and Bath prop Bell came out of retirement as injury cover for the Dragons and featured from the bench in their 24-8 defeat to Connacht.
It is very likely Bell will be in Italy with the Dragons tomorrow, to take on Zebre Rugby at Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma, and will therefore potentially miss the moment he has worked for all season.
Henderson paid tribute to the head coach, saying: “It is a big shame Duncan may miss the game tomorrow.
“But fairplay to him, he is doing very well for the Dragons and we are 100 per cent behind him.
“He has been absolutely fantastic this season and full credit to him for what he has done. He wasn’t given much of a chance last season, but our success is mainly down to him.”
Number eight Dave Bennett is unavailable tomorrow but otherwise Lydney will field a fully fit squad.