MICHAEL BIRMINGHAM is keen for more local derby success as Horndean bring the curtain up on their Wessex League premier division home campaign against Fareham Town at Five Heads Park (7.45pm).
Birmingham, appointed during the summer, made a winning start in the league with a 2-1 win at highly-fancied AFC Portchester.
His delight was tempered, however, by a disappointing 2-1 FA Cup exit at Bashley on Saturday.
Birmingham felt his team were far too lethargic and is looking for a return to the work ethic that saw them beat the Royals.
‘We outworked Portchester to gain a terrific win,’ he said.
‘We didn’t show the same desire and commitment against Bashley.
‘I am expecting us to bounce back, though it won’t be easy.
‘Fareham will be buoyed by their good win in the FA Cup and Steve Stone always has his sides well organised.
‘They will get players behind the ball, be difficult to break down and look to hit us on the break.’
Horndean could see the return of strikers Robbie Tambling and Micky Milne, who is signed on dual registration forms with Fleet Town.
Luke Heard will be making his home debut against his old club after moving from Cams Alders in the summer.
Fareham had a great result at Bradford Town in the cup but Stone is facing a number of availability problems.
Ashley Tattersall, Matt Andrew and Callum Laycock are all injury doubts.
Cup goalscorer Lee McCombie is away.
‘We were unfortunate to lose our opening league game against Newport IW to a very late goal,’ said Stone.
‘The cup win was great but it took a lot out of us.
‘Despite our problems we will be looking to get something out of the game.’
Moneyfields host Team Solent at Dover Road (7.45pm).
Central defender Dan Hayes is expected to make his debut after moving from Horndean during the summer.
Steve Hutchings, Steve Bantock, Dan Woodward and Lewis Fennemore are doubtful.
Alex Shephard, Curtis De Costa, Tyler Giddens and Nathan Paxton are all ruled out.