Fareham are perfectly poised for their double header with Moneyfields, according to stand-in boss Shaun Coles.
The acting manager, who has taken the Cams Alders reigns while Matt Parr is on holiday, presided over a 4-2 triumph over Hayling United in the Wessex League premier division on Saturday.
After four weeks without a game, Coles reckons it was an ideal return to action ahead of two further derbies this week.
He said: ‘I’m very happy with that display.
‘It was a good performance considering we haven’t played for four weeks.
‘Our finishing was excellent and in the end that was enough to make the difference.
‘We were missing a few regulars but the players who stepped up played well and didn’t look out of place at this level.
‘It sets us up nicely for our double header against Moneyfields this week.’
Fareham had to survive a late fightback from the Humbugs, though.
The Creeksiders eased into a 4-0 lead just before the hour mark – Graham Lindsey, Louie Martin, Doug Rowe and Matt Burt making Alex Easton pay for an early miss at the other end.
But then Hayling struck through Mike Turvey and debutant Chad Jackson in the last 20 minutes to set up a nervy finish.
They failed to land another blow, though, leaving boss Steve Poulton with mixed feelings.
‘I’m disappointed with the scoreline but not the performance,’ he said.
‘The difference between the two sides was the finishing – Fareham took their chances and we didn’t. They got a couple of fortuitous bounces for their goals in the first half and at the break I told the players not to be disappointed with the score because we were playing well.
‘They kept going and we grabbed those goals at the end.
‘It’s a shame we couldn’t keep the score to 3-0 as we might have got something from the game.
‘But if we play like that every week we will win more than we lose.’
Moneyfields, meanwhile, were beaten 2-0 at Newport.
Elsewhere, Horndean went down 3-1 to league leaders Downton.
Louis Castles cancelled out an early strike only for the Wiltshire side to get their noses back in front late on.
Blu Boam netted the winner as AFC Portchester beat Alton Town 2-1.
Simon Woods had put them in front only for the north Hampshire side to haul themselves level after the break.
– NEIL MARSHALL