Robson has youth on his side

Petersfield boss John Robson
Petersfield boss John Robson
Former Pompey midfielder Nick Awford harshly saw red for Petersfield Town tonight   Picture: Joe Pepler

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Youth may provide an answer to Petersfield Town manager John Robson’s burning question of how to get his side winning league games regularly again.

The Rams’ boss watched a mixed first-team and reserve side beat Hamble Club 2-1 in the Russell-Cotes Cup on Tuesday night.

A number of second-string players caught his eye, with Billy Connor impressing with his power and pace and scoring what turned out to be the winning goal.

They may not all make an immediate switch to the first-team set-up, but Tuesday night’s game went a long way to proving there is strength in depth at Love Lane.

Chairman Graeme Moir said: ‘There are some great young players in our reserve-team set-up and their performances and results in the Wyvern League this season show they are improving all the time.

‘Fraser Beauchamp, Josh Wycherley, Chris Harvey, Jon Palfrey and Sean Barnes all were given starts against a Hamble Club side which included the majority of their usual first team.

‘What you have to do is bring them in at the right time so their transition between reserve-team football and the first team goes well.

‘It’s difficult for us to blend in lots of youngsters at the moment when you look at where we are in the table.

‘But if they are good enough they will certainly get more chances in and around the first-team squad.’

Petersfield hit the road again in Southern League division one central on Saturday when they head to sixth-placed AFC Dunstable.

After that comes a run of three crucial home matches – fellow strugglers Histon, Beaconsfield SYCOB, and a Hampshire derby clash against Fleet Town.

Moir added: ‘In a strange way we would probably prefer the away game this weekend as our home form has been abysmal this season.

‘We seem to perform better on the road for some reason – perhaps the pitches are better, players feel the pressure is off or we just enjoy the away day experiences, I don’t know.

‘I’m sure our hosts will be thinking they should get three points from the visit of the side second from bottom.

‘We need to go there and work hard and surprise them with our play – we are not getting thumped out of sight by anyone but we need to start turning game situations in our favour now.’