AFC Portchester eyeing league double over fellow Wessex Premier high-fliers AFC Stoneham

Mick Catlin is relishing AFC Portchester's Wessex Premier clash with fellow high-fliers AFC Stoneham at the Crest Finance Stadium (3pm).

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:11 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 9:25 am
Nathan Paxton is a doubt for AFC Portchester's clash with AFC Stoneham. Picture: Keith Woodland (281219-672)

It is third versus second with both teams looking to maintain the pressure on leaders Alresford Town, who play at Tadley Calleva this evening.

The Royals are aiming to complete the double over their visitors having beaten them 3-0 at the end of September with goals from top scorer Dan Wooden (two) and Owen Fee.

But Stoneham are now the division’s in-form side, having rattled off seven wins in their last eight games - including winning the last four without conceding.

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They are aiming to become the first club to win the Wessex League title in their first-ever season in the Premier Division since Winchester City (2003/04).

‘Stoneham are a big, strong physical outfit and we must look to deal with that,’ said Catlin.

‘This is another big test for us.

‘Realistically, both teams will go for the win so it should be an exciting affair.

‘Hopefully, we will have enough firepower up front to cause them problems.

‘We must look to make our home advantage count and will approach it in our usual positive fashion.’

The hosts are without the injured Alex Baldacchino and Nathan Paxton is a doubt, but new signing Sam Lanahan is drafted into the squad.

The midfielder was at Gosport Borough last season but returned to Dorchester Town for a third spell last summer.

That didn’t last long, though, and he was released from his contract in September.