Improving Hayling United fancy their chances of causing an upset when they visit Fareham Town for a tasty Wessex League premier division derby at Cams Alders (3pm).
It may be only the third game in charge for new Humbugs manager Steve Poulton, following Lee Paul’s resignation, but he has been impressed with what he’s seen from his side so far.
Hayling began the year with an impressive win over Hamworthy, before being sunk by two late goals at high-flying GE Hamble last weekend.
Poulton is convinced, though, his side can get the right result against the Reds and further kick-start their bid to get off the bottom of the league.
‘Being a local derby, it should be a bit more blood and guts which will suit us,’ said Poulton.
‘It is the start of a run of six games for us where we are capable of picking up maximum points.
‘If we can get at least three wins it will do us the world of good.
‘Our performances have been excellent and we are becoming a lot more competitive.
‘Fareham are a decent young side and have our ex-striker Rob Tambling, who is always a threat, up front.
‘We will be respectful but concentrate on playing to our strengths.’
The Humbugs hope to have 17-year-old striker Darren Kinchem back from injury.
Fareham have started the year with a three-game unbeaten run, and manager Matt Parr is keen for that to continue.
The Reds battled out a 0-0 draw with Horndean last week and must raise their game again for another local clash.
Fareham: Douglas, Warren, Cuthbert, Burt, Jones, Pittman, Boud, Stevens, Tambling, Dark S, Cotton, Cammack, Tattersall, Doswell, Vickers, Redman
Hayling United: Patilla, Watts, Baker, Gadd, Hayward, Tigwell, Black, Salter-Vaile, Thurgood, Kinchem, Burney, Thornton, Fisher, Carter
n Horndean are still seeking a first home league win of the season as they welcome Laverstock & Ford to Five Heads Park.
Striker Torr Spicer returns to boost the home side’s fire-power after a six-week absence with a calf problem.
Manager Dave Carter admits his side are entering a crucial phase of the season.
‘Six of our next eight games are at home and we must look to make the most of it,’ said Carter.
‘It is important to get some momentum and confidence into the team.’
Horndean: Howard, Perkins, Luff, Shepherd, Chapman, McKie, Bell, Fennemore, Hayes, Spurway, Milroy, Spicer, Austin, Warren, Blackmore, Smith
n Moneyfields can climb into the top four by overcoming Hamworthy United at Dover Road.
Miles Rutherford has his side firing on all cylinders as they go for a seventh-consecutive league win.
Moneyfields: Hook, Evans, Gauntlett, Lee, Middleton, Rackley, Slater, Bailey, Asajile, Hutchings, Wain, Davis, Gregory, N’Doye