WHILE he is keen to secure local bragging rights, Braintree Cricket Club captain Will Jackson feels Saturday's derby clash with Witham isn't a "must-win" encounter in terms of their Two Counties Championship survival battle.

Braintree head into the game against their local rivals still sitting bottom of the division one table and with a 17 point gap to the side above them after a frustrating 27-run defeat at second-placed Wivenhoe last weekend.

However, there are still ten fixtures to go and Jackson feels it is way too soon to start labelling games as 'must-win', especially as Braintree have been competing strongly, despite their league position.

He said: "It is too soon to say it is a must-win game against Witham as there are still ten games left and 200 points on offer.

"That is plenty.

"Frinton have been docked points (for fielding an ineligible player) and that will bring them back down towards us and no-one has blown us away this year.

"I think we do need to win 50 to 60 per cent of the ten games we have left but I don't think you can say this is a must-win game for us.

"It is against our local rivals and there is an added incentive there, but we just have to treat every game the same.

"There is added spice because we have not beaten them for a while, however, we never go into a game thinking about past records - it is all on the day and we won't dwell on previous encounters."

Jackson said he expected Rory Ainsley to come back into the team after missing the game at Wivenhoe alongside youngster Lee Fullgrabbe, who impressed with both bat and ball for the club's Sunday side last weekend.

Those coming out of the side are Robbie Spalding, who is unavailable, and Geoff Eveling, who picked up a nasty injury while fielding at Wivenhoe.

A ball kicked up off the outfield and hit the Braintree player in the face, leaving him with a cut above his eye that needed five stitches in it and Jackson felt losing a key member of the team did little to help their chances of victory.

He added: "It was definitely a result that sums up the first part of our season.

"Playing Wivenhoe is tough, but even tougher when down to ten men in the field for the final ten overs.

"We lost by 27 runs and you wonder that had we had that extra fielder and then had another batsman in our chase, it may have been different.

"It's happened four or five times now this season; we lost Geoff at Wivenhoe, Warren Celiz broke his cheek in one game, Dan Chalk had a split lip and Lee (Fullgrabbe) had to go off against Woolpit.

"You can't just blame that because we didn't chase it down, but playing with ten against 11 in this division is tough.

"Wivenhoe took pace the ball off the ball, which made it hard to get the ball away on a big ground and while it was a chaseable target, it was tough."