Deans gunning for big switch-on

Horndean boss Dave Carter

Horndean boss Dave Carter

Aaron Dawson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gosport aim to give loyal fans something to cheer at home

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Horndean are ready to light up the Wessex League premier division as they face fellow newcomers Downton at Five Heads Park in their return to the top flight (3pm).

With new floodlights, a host of ground improvements and a strengthened squad, manager Dave Carter believes his side can make an impact and break into the top 10.

‘We are definitely equipped for this level and I am aiming for a top-10 finish,’ he said.

The home side are missing a couple of key players for the opener.

Goalkeeper Simon Howard is suspended and central defender Alex Sheppard is still on cricketing duties.

Dan Hayes and Bryn McKie have signed from Fareham, though.

Meanwhile, Nick Taylor – from Hayling – and former Eastleigh player Jack Warren are expected to make their debuts.

Horndean: Plomer, Chatfield, Chapman, Taylor N, Smith, Milroy, Perkins, Fennemore, McKie, Austin, Spicer, Boam, Hayes, Paxton, Blackmore, Warren.

n Moneyfields are badly hit by suspensions as they open their campaign against a powerful Christchurch outfit at Dover Road (3pm).

Luke Middleton, Russell Rackley and Sean Kerridge are all banned and manager Miles Rutherford will include 38-year-old ‘war horse’ Graeme Gee to give his side some experience in defence.

‘We have got a tough start and it could be a bit of a struggle at first,’ said Rutherford.

Moneyfields have lost key men Warren Hunt and Danny Horrell to big-spending Blackfield & Langley during the close season.

Moneyfields: Hook, Evans, Bailey, Gee, Lee, Boyle, Hore, Gauntlett, Morgan, Slater, Hutchins, Blake, N’Doye, Page, Gregory, Scott.

n Fareham Town have also suffered an exodus of players during the summer.

And boss Matt Parr accepts he faces a tough season, starting against Totton & Eling at Cams Alders (3pm).

‘It is very difficult because we have lost up to three-quarters of our first team,’ said Parr.

‘We can’t compete with the likes of Horndean and GE Hamble who can pay more.’

The Reds have, however, recruited Rob Tambling from Hayling, Ash Tattersall and Jack Kirby from Fleetlands, and Sam Wilson from New Milton. They are all expected to make their debuts.

Fareham Town: Douglas, Stock J, Stock R, Martin, Barnes-Andrew, Boud, Stevens, Byrne, Tattersall, Windsor, Tambling, Cuthbert, Pitman, Darke, Redman, Kirby.

n Lee Paul is convinced Hayling United will not suffer another relegation battle after their final-day reprieve last season.

In a recreation of the last match of last season, Hayling host Lymington tomorrow (3pm).

‘We have added new players and there is a totally different atmosphere,’ said Humbugs boss Paul.

Former Horndean player Sean Thurgood, Gary Luff and goalkeeper Beau Savage are set to make their debuts.

But Graeme Gillman (ankle ligaments) and Scott Thornton (wedding) are out.

Hayling United: Savage, Luff, Smallbones, Watts, Turner, Martin, Clements, Thurgood, Case, Reay, Burney, Black, Moore, Baker, Summers.

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