Henderson calls for ruthless streak

The Portsmouth team
The Portsmouth team
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Dave Henderson believes Portsmouth need to rediscover their ‘killer instinct’ to avoid being dragged into Southern Electric division two relegation trouble.

The Portsmouth skipper, whose side host Sparsholt this week, saw his men beaten by Totton & Eling II last weekend in a high-scoring contest.

Portsmouth, who were promoted from division three last term, have been involved in several close games – and have come out on the wrong side every time.

But Henderson is eager to get a win on the board to give them some breathing space, even though they are in mid-table at the moment.

He said: ‘The league is so tight this season that if we had won those close games, we would have been promotion contenders.

‘Now we are potentially in a relegation dogfight.

‘We just haven’t had that killer instinct this season.

‘We have dropped catches and you can always point to those ones that have cost us the match.

‘Four straight losses have taken us down there.

‘And we all know that every single point matters this season.

‘We’ve definitely got enough to stay up.

‘We’ve got two very tough games coming up and then August is full of games against teams around us.

‘Our last game is at Havant II and we don’t want to be going there on the last day of the season needing a win to stay up. We want to be safe by then. But this season is about survival and enjoying it.’

While Jack Marston hit a fine 102 last week, he was unfortunate to end on the losing side.

Henderson said: ‘Up until last week, I have never lost a game batting first and scoring 269.

‘It was a beautiful batting pitch, Jack got a great hundred and we were feeling pretty confident at halfway.

‘But Totton & Eling came out and swung the bat and won in the last over.

‘It was a brilliant game of cricket but another one we’ve lost in the final over.’

Elsewhere in division two, Havant II host Totton & Eling II without regular wicketkeeper, Simon Loat, who has been called up to the first team to replace Jez Bulled.