TOMORROW (Friday) is 'Derby Day' as Newport take on East Cowes Vics in Division 1 of the Wessex League — with more than bragging rights at stake for one of the clubs.

East Cowes Vics, who groundshare with Newport, will play their match at Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes — but with a yellow weather warning for strong winds, with rain, a pitch inspection is expected.

They currently lie in fifth place — the last of the play-off places — but eight points clear of Cove the side in sixth.

Isle of Wight County Press: East Cowes Vics boss Alex Smith, left, and Newport boss Steve Brougham, go head to head.East Cowes Vics boss Alex Smith, left, and Newport boss Steve Brougham, go head to head. (Image: Graham Brown)

A win would give Vics a lot of confidence going into the final seven matches, with a stab at promotion their potential reward after an excellent season.

Vics boss, Alex Smith, had a positive outlook ahead of the derby.

"The squad is looking very healthy in terms of size, strength in depth and fitness," said Alex. 

"The game can be looked at from two sides of the same coin — on one hand, it’s a huge derby that perhaps has more than just the three points attached to it, and on the other, it’s just another one of eight remaining games we have to gain the points required for a play-off place.

"Different players will have their own perspective of the game ahead, but one thing’s for sure, we’ll have 16 players buying into the game plan and doing their upmost to get the three points — just like we have all season."

However, in front of the of Wessex League Division 1's biggest crowd of the season so far — an attendance of 523 on Boxing Day — Newport earned the bragging rights in the corresponding fixture with a 4-1 victory.

Newport go into the clash in a comfortable 11th, with almost a fully fit squad to choose from.

Their boss, Steve Brougham, said, ahead of the game: "Obviously, Vics have had a good season and will be favourites, but I've done a lot of these derbies, going in as both favourites and underdogs, and they are always a leveller.

"But we have done well too. In pre-season, only three turned up, so the aim this season was to stay up. We've achieved that.

"We have improved as a team and have gained confidence.

"We have some good lads who won't need motivating against Vics. The lads are bang up for it and will give it a good go.

"It should be a good local derby in front of a good crowd. I'm looking forward to it."  

Kick off at 3pm.