Moon eyes crucial triumph

Pete Hayward is back for Portsmouth
Pete Hayward is back for Portsmouth
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Portsmouth skipper James Moon has labelled tomorrow’s clash at Bournemouth II a ‘must-win’ game in his side’s quest for Southern Electric Premier League division two survival.

After all the pre-match talk from the opposing captains, last Saturday’s ‘needle’ match against Hambledon was washed out by the weather.

That has made the need for Moon’s side to grab a victory at Chapel Gate greater than ever.

This is especially true given that they are up against one of their fellow strugglers – a team who sit just one place above them in the table.

As rain swept through the Southern League schedule last weekend, Bournemouth’s trip to bottom-side Burridge was also abandoned.

‘It’s quite simply a must-win game for us,’ said Moon.

‘Our game was washed out last week which hasn’t helped us. But we are back to full strength for this and confident we should win – then again, we’ve said that a lot this season.’

In fact, Portsmouth have registered just four victories from their 11 matches so far this summer, leaving only Burridge below them in the table.

The hosts have an almost identical record but have had one more game rained off.

Moon believes that is where the similarities between the two sides end, though.

‘It should be a decent game,’ he explained.

‘Bournemouth are quite weak in the batting department and stronger in the bowling.

‘We are the opposite, so it’s an intriguing one.

‘Our bowling has let us down too many times this season.

‘But the good news for us is that one of our old heads, Pete Hayward, is back to boost our bowling attack and that should make a big difference.’

Moon maintains that Portsmouth are in a false position in the division two table.

He insists his team can make a rapid ascent over the remaining seven games.

‘Our league is just so tight,’ he added.

‘One more win over the course of the season would have seen us up in fourth instead of near the bottom.

‘We’ve not been thrashed by anyone all summer and should have won a few more of the closer games we’ve had.

‘We just seem to be lacking that killer blow.

‘But Bournemouth are struggling towards the bottom and we should be too good for them.’

PORTSMOUTH: James Moon, Dan Cornish, Ed Lye, James Wright, Farshan Jemildar, Freddie Dare, Rob Jones, Matt Scott, Paddy Fullarton, Dean Oliffe, Pete Hayward