Benfield: Maximum points are crucial for Portsmouth & Southsea

Matt Benfield
Matt Benfield
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Determined Portsmouth & Southsea still have work to do to achieve Southern League division three safety.

They travel to Bashley (Rydal) on Saturday with relegation still a possibility.

Their cause hasn't been helped by a five-point deduction for playing an unregistered player due to an administrative error.

Vice-captain Matt Benfield accepts his side need to keep winning to remove any remaining doubts.

He said: ‘This is a must-win game for us.

‘We have to go into the game determined to get maximum points.

‘Our fate is very much in our own hands.

‘If we win our final two games we will be safe.

‘We had a very good win in our last game but other results went against us.

‘The two teams immediately below us also won to keep the pressure on.’

Benfield admits the first year back in the Southern League has been a learning curve for the side.

At times the lack of experience of playing at the higher level has gone against them.

He is adamant that the team is good enough to compete in their new environment.

But they haven’t quite been able to put the whole package together on a consistent basis and as a result have ended up in a battle for survival.

‘We are not a million miles away from being a good side in this league,’ added Benfield.

Will Bond is unavailable so Ian Turner takes over the captaincy of Hambledon in their visit to South Wilts III.

Bond is backing the experienced Turner to deliver the win that will secure Hambledon’s status.

He said: ‘We have to be ultra cautious because there is a small possibility that we are not safe.

‘It is a game we cannot afford to take lightly.

‘South Wilts are still pushing for second spot.

‘That means they will be going hard at it.

‘We are expecting a tough game but are looking to win one or both our final games.’

Apart from Bond, Rupert Etherington and Garin Chapman are also unavailable.

Turner, Indy Chakrabarti and Kyle Shinn, making his first appearance of the season, are drafted into the team.

Purbrook can stretch their winning run to six games by seeing off relegation-battling Fawley on the Waterside.

Havant II need a surprise home win against impressive league-leaders Fair Oak to improve their survival chances.