AFC Portchester outline title aspiration with addition of two new signings

AFC Portchester have further underlined their Wessex League Premier Division title ambitions by signing two new players.

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 2:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th March 2020, 4:29 pm
Steve Ramsey serves the final game of his three-match suspension this weekend. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080220-42)

The Royals have further strengthened their squad by bringing in Fleet Town centre-forward Paul Coventry and goalkeeper Nick Hutchings, who has been released by Dorchester Town.

Coventry is in contention to make his debut this weekend against Portland United at the Crest Finance Stadium.

The striker enjoyed a successful time with Alresford Town last season, scoring 12 goals in all competition.

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The Royals manager Mick Catlin believes the pair will prove useful additions as his side enter their final 10 games of the league campaign.

Portchester are six points adrift of leaders Alresford with a game in hand as they seek a first-ever promotion to the Southern League.

‘Paul (Coventry) is what I would describe as an old fashioned centre-forward,’ said Catlin.

‘Every time he has played against us he has scored, including an acrobatic overhead-kick against us for Fleet.

‘For some reason, he has been out of their side and I wondered if I could get him.

‘With us going well, he was only too keen to be part of it.

‘At the moment, we only have one goalkeeper, Brad Snelling, and if he got injured we would have a problem.

‘Nick (Hutchings) is an experienced goalkeeper and gives us the cover we need.

‘The transfer deadline is the end of this month so now was the time to act.’

Catlin’s men have won six and drawn one of their last seven matches and the boss knows they cannot afford to let their momentum slip.

‘We virtually have to win all our remaining games and hope Alresford and AFC Stoneham slip up,’ he remarked.

‘If we are to achieve it, then a grandstand finish is required.

‘Bringing the extra players in adds to our strength in depth.

‘Portland will be tough opponents, they always are.

‘We are out for some revenge for losing 2-1 there earlier in the season.

‘We felt a little hard done by, so this will be an opportunity to put the record straight.’

The home side remain without skipper Steve Ramsey, who is sitting out the final game of a three-match ban awarded for a recent red card at Fleet Town.