OLD Southendian & Southchurch head to Benfleet today hoping to make full use of the returning Adam Rendell.

He has missed a few games but is back as the season returns to timed games.

And his comeback could not have come at a better time for Old Boys captain Aaron Lucas.

“Adam will be opening the bowling and he is useful for the timed games because if a team go defensive and play for a draw, he has the pace to get wickets,” Lucas said.

But Lucas will have to shuffle his middle order as Ben Dowse’s season has been ended by a hamstring injury, while Matt Wilson has returned to playing football.

However, third-placed Southend-ian are aiming for an immediate return to Division Two and Lucas added: “We have Benfleet and Epping and then a gap week before we play Harlow Town.

“The aim is to still have something to play for when we play Harlow, so we are hoping to get two wins over the next fortnight.”

Ninth-placed Benfleet are looking to snare a couple more victories before the season ends – but are not counting their chickens against Southendian.

“I would like to get one or two more wins out of our last four games,” said Benfleet captain James Wilkins.

“Old Brentwoods and Oakfield Parkonians are both winnable games, while the other two games are against the top teams.”

Benfleet will be bolstered by the return of batsmen Gavin Blowes and Graeme Valentine.

League leaders Stanford le Hope hold a 12-point advantage over second-placed Harlow Town.

And skipper Lee Knight is anxious to secure another win to maintain the pressure on their title rivals, who visit fourth-placed Old Brentwoods.

But he is taking nothing for granted as Stanford head to a Woodford Green team sitting fifth in the table.

“We beat them quite comfortably at our place but they are quite an unpredicatble team,” Knight said.

“A couple of weeks before we played them, they beat Harlow Town, so we will not be taking them lightly.

“But we will carry on doing what we have been doing and see where it takes us.”

Eighth-placed Basildon & Pitsea lost to Woodford Green last week and will be looking to beat botton-of-the-table hosts Epping.