Royals hoping they can finally break their Blackfield curse

Mick Catlin. Picture: Keith Woodland
Mick Catlin. Picture: Keith Woodland
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AFC Portchester are hoping to finally turn the tables on bogey-side Blackfield & Langley in tonight’s Wessex League Cup semi-final clash at Gang Warily (7.45pm).

The Royals have lost three times to their hosts already this season.

Their latest defeat was a 3-0 reverse in the Wessex League premier division league on Saturday.

Three first-half goals sunk the visitors.

Mick Catlin admits his side will need to do something different if they are to reverse their fortunes against the Watersiders.

The Portchester joint-manager said: ‘We were poor in the first half on Saturday and were virtually dead and buried by half-time.

‘The biggest problem was we never really created anything against them.’

Meanwhile, Steve Leigh insists Baffins Milton Rovers must improve their underbelly as they travel to Hamble Club in the Wessex League premier division.

The Kendall Road side are back in action after their derby at Fareham was postponed on Saturday.

‘As a team we need to show far greater mental strength,’ said Baffins manager Leigh.

‘We have to get back to basics and stop making stupid mistakes. At this level you will get punished.

‘We have outpassed our opponents at times but we need to be better in our decision-making.

‘It is about being prepared to do the ugly things.

‘Our biggest downfall has been our inability to keep clean sheets.

‘We haven’t kept a clean sheet since October.

‘At times, we have been guilty of switching off and that has cost us.

‘It is important that we don’t get into the habit of losing.’

Horndean face one of their longest away trips of the season to struggling Amesbury Town.

Michael Birmingham wants to see his side play on the front foot.

‘Amesbury are fighting for their lives and have a small, tight pitch,’ the Deans boss said.

‘We have to go there and get on the front foot.

‘To do that we have to ensure the correct work-rate and desire is shown.

‘We will also have to be prepared to defend because they are direct and good at set-pieces.

‘It will help if we keep our discipline and don’t give away silly fouls in poor areas.’

In division one, United Services Portsmouth visit AFC Stoneham looking to close the gap on their third-placed hosts.