MICHAEL BIRMINGHAM has called on Horndean to complete a Wessex League premier division double over AFC Portchester.
It’s shaping up to be a battle between the two to finish as the next best local side behind Moneyfields.
The Deans host the contest at Five Heads Park tonight (7.45pm).
Birmingham celebrated a win over his previous club in his first game in charge at the start of the season.
Now he is looking for a repeat performance against the visitors who are struggling to find their best form.
One win in their past seven league games has seen the Royals slip to seventh in the league.
‘When we beat them earlier they had an off-day and we played exceptionally well,’ said Deans boss Birmingham.
‘Though they are not having a good time at the moment we know they possess a lot of quality in their side.
‘It is a derby and that means that form goes out of the window.
‘The game has the added spice of them being just two points behind us in the league with a game in hand.
‘We are looking to finish ahead of them as the second best team local team in the league behind Moneyfields.
‘Winning this game will help us turn the screw on them but it won’t be easy.’
Birmingham is boosted by the news that Joe Richardson could be back.
Richardson feared he has broken his collar-bone at Portland but it turned out to be severe bruising.
Connor Duffin and Robbie Tambling are also returning after being unavailable.
Striker Ash Howes, however, is ruled out by a three-game ban after appearing for Moneyfields while suspended.
The league leaders travel for a rearranged game at Sholing Sports still waiting to hear if they are going to have points deducted by the league.
Moneyfields were left frustrated at the weekend after turning up at Team Solent only to find the game postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Blackfield have now cut their lead at the top to four points.
Manager Dave Carter is keen to see his side extend the gap again by beating Sholing.
Fareham Town return to action after a two-week break with a trip to Andover Town.
In division one promotion chasing Baffins Milton Rovers journey to Tadley Calleva.
United Services Portsmouth welcome Folland Sports to Burnaby Road.