Pressure’s on Portchester in Wessex League derby

Dan Hayes. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161273-6)

Dan Hayes. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161273-6)

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The onus is on AFC Portchester in tonight’s Wessex League derby.

Dave Carter believes his Moneyfields side go into the premier division clash with the pressure off as they lead the way in the table.

Moneys are three points clear of second-placed Sholing with a game in hand on their rivals.

But Portchester have their own ambitions of getting out of the division this season.

They need to bridge a 10-point gap to the leaders if they are to do that.

Carter believes that knowledge gives his team the edge going into the game at Dover Road (7.45pm).

He said: It should be juicy.

‘It’s a derby and both teams are unbeaten in a while.

‘We have the top form in the league over the past six to eight games.

‘We’re at the halfway point in the season and we’ve got ourselves in a great position now.

‘Our aim is promotion and we’re on track for that at the moment.

‘Portchester have got to come and beat us. That has to be their priority.

‘When you speak to people at their club they say they have the ambition of promotion.

‘They’re 10 points behind us, so they have to come and beat us.

‘At half-time on Saturday I told the lads they shouldn’t be frightened to pass the ball – we’re the ones in the driving seat in this league.

‘The others are passengers at the moment – and that goes for Portchester.’

Moneys shared a goalless draw with Blackfield & Langley on Saturday.

They are likely to be shorn of a number of attacking options going into tonight’s game.

Both Dan Hayes and Gary Austin are carrying ankle injuries and struggling for fitness.

And long-serving hitman Steve Hutchings is missing through suspension.

Lewis Fennemore is back in contention after serving a ban, while Dan Woodward and Lewis Stockford both come back into the equation.

Carter said: ‘We’ve got quite a few injuries and a few suspended.

‘But we’ve got a good squad here. We had six players out on Saturday but got a point against Blackfield, who have got a pretty big budget in this league.

‘That proves we have strength in depth here.

‘We’re confident going into the game and you’d hope for a bumper gate because it’s a match to look forward to.’

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