PETERSFIELD TOWN will lift the Wessex League premier division title if they beat Lymington Town at Love Lane tomorrow (3pm).
Victory will take the Rams beyond the reach of closest-rivals Winchester City and crown a remarkable first season back in the top flight.
If we do then two successive promotions will be a huge achievement for the club.Ian Saunders
Manager Ian Saunders maintained from the very start that Petersfield were capable of surprising a few people after their promotion from division one last term.
Saunders admitted his side have achieved beyond their wildest dreams and now just have to finish the job off.
‘Fingers crossed we will continue our good form and pick up the three points we deserve,’ said Saunders.
‘If we do then two successive promotions will be a huge achievement for the club.
‘When we came into the league I thought we could do better than a lot of people thought we would.
‘Early on, when Folland Sports gave us a 6-1 thumping on our own ground, I wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew.
‘Since then, though, we have shown a great consistency throughout the season.’
Tomorrow’s New Forest visitors, however, will arrive intent on being party poopers and will present the Rams with a tough examination.
But the manager is backing his troops to deal with the pressure and come through the test.
Saunders said: ‘The players showed their character in winning the local derby against Horndean.
‘The Deans were a decent, physical outfit and I expect Lymington to be similar.
‘If we can apply ourselves in the same way then we are capable of getting a positive result.’
The only absentee from the squad is central-midfielder Alex Lowley, who is attending his brother’s wedding.
Meanwhile, Horndean manager Dave Carter has problems ahead of his side’s trip across the Solent to face Newport IW at St Georges Park (3pm).
A number of players are unable to make the journey because of work commitments.
Jack McFarlane and Lewis Stockford are away, while there is a fitness doubt over goalkeeper Lyall Beazley.
‘Some players have let us down in the last couple of weeks,’ said Carter.
‘We still have seven games left to play and that is starting to take its toll.
‘Our season is in danger of fizzling out after we were going well.
‘We won five on the bounce but have now lost our last four.’
Central-midfielder Colin Marsh looks set to continue after impressing against Petersfield on Easter Monday.
Director of football Mick Jenkins expects AFC Portchester to finish their season with a flourish.
The Royals head into their final three games against Brockenhurst at Wicor Rec (3pm).
‘We are in a confident mood and looked back to our old selves in the win at Fareham,’ said Jenkins.
‘With only one defeat since Christmas, we want to make sure we finish the season in style.’
Fourth-placed Moneyfields visit the Waterside to take on Fawley.