AFC Portchester eager to get Wessex League title push back on track against Christchurch - Fareham Town eyeing response to shock defeat

AFC Portchester are aiming to get their Wessex Premier title challenge back on track against Christchurch at Hurn Bridge (3pm).

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 1:52 pm
Alex Baldacchino will miss AFC Portchester's clash with Christchurch. Picture: Keith Woodland (281219-105)

In recent weeks, the Royals have lost at home to their two main challengers - Alresford and AFC Stoneham - and cannot afford to slip up again.

The Dorset club are only four points behind Portchester and have two games in hand, but manager Mick Catlin is backing his team to do the business.

‘The teams below us are creeping that little bit closer,’ said Catlin.

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‘Every game we lose, the gap closes.

‘We need to get on another winning run to keep our advantage and maintain the pressure on the leading two.

‘So far, we have averaged two points a game but we will need to step that up in the second half of the season.

‘If we are to stand a chance of winning the league, we will need to win the majority of our remaining games.

‘There are still plenty of points up for grabs and we have a lot of games against teams below us.

‘We have a squad that is capable of doing that.’

Alex Baldacchino is still ruled out by hamstring problems and Nathan Paxton is rated no more than 50-50.

Josh Warren is back in training after injury and could be included, but Jordan Brooks and Owen Fee have left the club.

‘Christchurch are in a false position because of all their cup games,’ said Catlin.

‘Both teams are coming into the game on the back of defeats.

‘We like to play attacking football and so do they, so it should be an open, exciting affair.’

n Pete Stiles is demanding Fareham Town bounce back to winning ways against Brockenhurst at Cams Alders (3pm).

Stiles was hugely disappointed by the Reds’ 3-1 defeat at rock bottom Amesbury.

‘We all know that our display wasn't good enough,’ said Stiles.

‘It is important that we put that right.

‘Brockenhurst won't be easy because they are always decent and work for 90 minutes.’

The home side are without the suspended Gary Austin and injured Curt Robbins.