Reds forced to rotate for relegation six-pointer

Fareham Town boss Steve Stone    Picture: Neil Marshall

Fareham Town boss Steve Stone Picture: Neil Marshall

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Fareham Town face a Wessex League premier division ‘relegation six-pointer’ against basement-boys Verwood Town in the New Forest (3pm).

The Reds gave themselves a huge injection of confidence with a 1-1 draw against title-chasing Sholing Sports in their last game.

Manager Steve Stone is hopeful his team can put in the same level of performance against their basement hosts.

Once again, though, his plans have been hit by injury to two central defenders and he is forced to reshuffle at the back.

George Davis is likely to be out for a spell with hamstring problems.

Aaron Grimshaw is also a huge doubt after hurting his back moving furniture during the week.

‘It might be a case of drawing straws to see who plays at the back,’ said Stone.

‘We will certainly have to mix and match again which is a shame after our result against Sholing.

‘Every game for us at the moment is a must-win game.

‘This one is important though because there is a lot riding on it.

‘If we win then it will help us put a bit of daylight between us and them but if we lose it just increases the pressure.’

Assistant manager Steve Johnson reckons AFC Portchester’s trip to Amesbury Town will provide a real test of the Royals’ mental strength (3pm).

The Royals are in a buoyant mood after beating league leaders Moneyfields in midweek.

Johnson insists the win won’t breed any complacency.

‘Our players have got the bit between their teeth at the moment,’ he said.

‘None of us want to see an “After the Lord Mayor’s Show” performance.

‘Amesbury is a difficult place to go with their tight pitch so it will be a test of our resolve.

‘We know we still have a gap to make up on the leaders but our last win has given us every incentive to kick on.’

The Royals are boosted by the news that key men Gary Moody and Steve Ramsey are almost ready to return from injury.

They also hope to have Jack Salter-Vaile available again after his impressive showing in the last game.

In division one, Baffins Milton Rovers face are involved in a top-of-the-table contest at Hamble Club (3pm).

United Services Portsmouth are looking to extend their winning run at Follands Sports.

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