JOINT-boss Paul Oakes is expecting bottom side Northfield Town to provide a sterner test for Fairfield Villa than their lowly league position suggests.

The Birmingham club have been the whipping boys in the Midland Combination Division One with only five points.

But Oakes believes Saturday’s opponents will be looking to strengthen in order to try and escape relegation.

Northfield won their last game when they defeated Shirley Town 2-0 on January 5, their first in the league this term.

He said: “I have heard that Northfield are adding players from Earlswood.

“It means we could be in for a much tougher game that we expected.

“Alvis and Cadbury played them earlier in the season and won with big scores but if the match is a bit tough then so be it.

“They are one of my former clubs and I certainly would not like to see them relegated.

“Saying that we want to continue our good form.”

Villa were frustrated at the weekend as their top-of-the-table clash against Alvis was called off because of rain and snow.

The match was to be played at Villa’s temporary home of Earlsdon and their Coventry opponents offered to host at their home ground at short notice.

Oakes said: “We would have played at Alvis but the offer came at 12.30pm which was a bit late.

“We were desperate to play because we’re full of confidence and want to keep our momentum going.”

Villa were yet to learn if striker Brendan Hickey was going to move to Midland Alliance Alvechurch.

The Churchmen put in a seven-day bid last Monday and were set to talk to the former Feckenham man this week.