Goddard keen for middle men to step up

James Scutt

James Scutt

Liam Dawson in action. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Max Goddard is looking for Waterlooville’s middle-order batsmen to fire as they host Gosport Borough in a Southern League division three derby at Rowlands Avenue.

Ville have opened up with two wins from their opening three games but have relied heavily on their opening batsmen.

Although openers James Scutt and Tim Jackson have given the home side a solid start in every game, Goddard’s team have failed to capitalise.

And he knows his team cannot afford to keep relying on a few individuals to score the runs.

‘Our top order are doing the business at the moment but we cannot expect them to do it every week,’ said Goddard.

‘James Scutt has hardly put a foot wrong, though being his own harshest critic he still wants to score more hundreds.

‘After coming to us from Hambledon three years ago, he has become a very influential player for us.

‘It is no surprise that he is doing so well because he is one of the leading run scorers in the history of the league.

‘He has started the new campaign on fire and we would have been struggling without his contribution.

‘Along with Tim Jackson he has helped provide excellent starts, scoring at five or six runs an over and putting on at least 70 to 90 runs for the first wicket.

‘Last summer the middle order was our main problem and so far it has been the same this season.

‘If we are to keep winning then the rest of us will have to start chipping in with some significant runs.’

The lack of support for the openers was the main reason behind Ville’s opening-day defeat at Lymington and almost cost them again at the weekend when they edged a win against Hursley Park.

In the New Forest, Waterlooville – chasing a total of over 200 – looked in charge when they reached 100 without loss after 16 overs.

Disappointingly, though, once their opening pair departed the rest of the side capitulated.

Batting first against Hursley Park, the problem was again clear to be seen as Ville went from 150 for one to 200 all out.

‘We beat Lymington twice last season so we went there confident of making a good start,’ added Goddard.

‘Our bowlers came to the rescue against Hursley Park and this was the sort of game we would have lost last season.’

South African Henk Nel removed both the Hursley openers cheaply to put Ville on the front foot.

When Hursley looked like edging closer to their target, Sam Hillman (three for 40) kept his side in contention.

Goddard believes once Ville’s middle order start reaching their full potential his side can launch a promotion bid.

‘It is a very competitive league and if we can restrict our losses to three or four games we will give ourselves a chance,’ said Goddard.

Waterlooville: Max Goddard, James Scutt, Tim Jackson,

Jon Hudson, Alex Shephard, Archie Reynolds, Sam Hillman,

Henk Nel, Ash Silva, Matthew Cook, Andy Reynolds

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