Petersfield wary of Portchester trip

Graham Rix
Graham Rix
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Petersfield Town head to an unhappy hunting ground tonight as they look to progress in the Hampshire Senior Cup.

The Rams travel to Wessex premier AFC Portchester looking to avenge two cup defeats in the past two seasons at Wicor Rec.

Last season the Royals beat the Southern League outfit 3-1 in the quarter-final of the Russell-Cotes Cup, and in 2014-15 Portchester were 1-0 victors in the final of the Wessex League Cup.

Petersfield will be hoping it’s a case of third-time lucky so they can progress into the third round of the county cup competition.

Chairman Graeme Moir said: ‘I don’t know what it is about going to AFC Portchester but we don’t seem to play very well there.

‘In the Wessex League Cup final we just had a huge off day, and last season in the Russell-Cotes Cup Portchester completely over powered us and outplayed us on the night.

‘Portchester have been a good, strong side for a number of seasons now and they are always one of our most difficult opponents. I’m sure we are in for another tough match tonight.’

The Rams will go into the match, though, with renewed confidence after their 2-2 league draw at Marlow.

Moir added: ‘We were excellent on Saturday and we need to take that forward into two important games for us this week – AFC Portchester tonight and Northwood in the league on Saturday.

‘We have said for a long time now that we have nothing to fear in the Southern League and we are slowly building our confidence back up and starting to show that we have the ability to compete at that level.

‘Portchester will be a very tough game for us but it is another opportunity for the players to get more game time together and keep building our play up.’

Graham Rix’s side, who lost 2-0 to Merthyr Town in the Cup on Saturday, reached the quarter-finals of the county cup last season and he is hoping for another good run in the competition.

‘The players are chomping at the bit and there is a great spirit in the camp,’ said Rix.

The home side are still without injured trio Andy Todd, Jason Parrish and Alex Baldacchino.

Joe Noakes and Craig Hardy are back in contention after suspension.