GRAHAM RIX believes AFC Portchester are on the up ahead of tonight’s Wessex League premier division contest against Hamworthy United at Wicor Rec tonight (7.45pm).
The Royals boosted their confidence with a 0-0 draw at in-form Bemerton Heath Harlequins on Saturday.
Now Rix wants to see them push on to put a winning run together.
Some of his key players are on the way back from injury and things are looking better.
‘This game gives us a chance to get some momentum going,’ said Rix.
‘I don’t think that we have been too far away.
‘It has been the absence of key players due to injury and suspension that has hit us hard.
‘Slowly and surely we are starting to get players back and that is going to make a big difference.
‘A lot of youngsters have come in and in the long term the experience they have gained will be invaluable.’
The Royals were particularly pleased to see striker Alex Baldacchino make a return after 18 months out with knee problems.
Even in his 10-minute cameo as a substitute in the closing stages at Bemerton he showed just how dangerous he can be.
He hit the crossbar and forced an excellent save from the home goalkeeper.
Providing he shows no reaction from his return Baldacchino is likely to figure again at some stage tonight.
Moneyfields entertain Lymington Town in the Russell Cotes Cup at Dover Road tonight (7.45pm).
The Copnor side will be looking to the future.
‘This game gives us a chance to have a look at some of the youngsters coming through,’ said assistant manager Matt Jones.
Baffins Milton Rovers travel to Alton to replay their Wessex League Cup tie after the first meeting ended in controversial fashion.
Alton went on to win the first game 3-2 after extra-time, despite both managers explaining to the referee that they should have gone straight to penalties.
The tie now has to be replayed tonight.
‘Both managers tried to tell the referee that he was wrong but he just sent us to the stand,’ said Baffins boss Louis Bell.
‘We didn’t complain because they beat us fair and square but the League insists we play the game again.’
Fareham Town will be hoping to avoid an upset as they host Hampshire Premier League outfit Fleetlands in the Portsmouth Senior Cup at Cams Alders tonight (7.45pm).