'Extremely serious' ending required for Horndean to achieve high-placing finish... US Portsmouth head for Blackfield & Langley after AFC Portchester defeat

Michael Birmingham ordered his Horndean squad to adopt an 'extremely serious' attitude for their final two Wessex League Premier matches with a possible high third-placed finish still up for grabs.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 5:00 pm
Horndean manager Michael Birmingham Picture: Martyn White
Horndean manager Michael Birmingham Picture: Martyn White

The Deans were right up in title contention but suffered a blip to see them drop out of the race to be crowned champions at the crunch end of the campaign.

After a run of three successive defeats last month, Birmingham's men have managed to pick up maximum points from their previous two games to haul themselves back up into fourth spot.

Although out of the title picture, the Deans are only two points off third-placed Shaftesbury with two games left to play this season.

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Yet there remains the possibility Horndean could finish as low as sixth with a poor ending, as Brockenhurst - in fifth - are two points behind them - but have just one fixture remaining - while sixth-placed are three points off Birmingham's troops with two games left to go.

Ahead of hosting Bournemouth in their penultimate league fixture on Saturday, the Deans boss said: ‘We've got to make sure, at the end of the day, we get our job in-house done. We don't worry about any other results, that's not the way we are, we've just got to worry about Horndean.

‘At the end of the day, if Horndean pick up maximum points we finish fourth, if we don't pick up maximum points then we could finish sixth. The next two games are huge.

‘Two games (to go), two games can define whether you finish fourth or whether you finish sixth. It's why we have to take these last two games extremely serious and make sure we're fully focused on the job in hand. They're two tough games.’

n US Portsmouth head to Blackfield & Langley for their penultimate match of what has been their first season at Wessex Premier level.

Tom Grice's men suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of PO postcode rivals AFC Portchester on Tuesday in what was their final game of the campaign at the Victory Stadium.