Fareham Town's tough period with injury absentees - and testing derby visit to AFC Portchester
Fareham Town must find a way to battle through the next few weeks with a number of first-teamers remaining absent.
That's the view of manager Pete Stiles, who takes his side the short distance for a Wessex League Premier Division meeting with AFC Portchester.
The Reds head to the Royals with a number of first-teamers remaining sidelined through injury, including summer signing Ben Rowthorn, Connor Messenbird and Tom Settle.
Fareham were at least boosted by the return of defender Archie Willcox last week, although he gave away a penalty as Bashley ran out 3-1 winners at Cams Alders on Saturday.
Boss Stiles admitted it's far from an ideal situation the Reds find themselves in at present.
But rather than moan about the growing injury list, Stiles instead wants to see the players come together and deliver a strong derby performance at AFC Portchester.
The Fareham boss said: ‘It’s quite hard going at the moment and we’ve got a tough game on Tuesday (at AFC Portchester).
‘It doesn’t (get any easier with Portchester next). But there are no easy games in this division.
‘We’ve just got to try to get through these next few weeks. I was hoping it would only be two or three weeks but it’s looking like it’s going to be a bit longer than that before we get people back, I’m afraid.’
As a result of his goal against Bashley and impressing boss Stiles, Kai Sterne is set to be in the squad for the trip to the Royals.
But Fareham are sure to have their work cut-out travelling to AFC Portchester on the back of their 4-2 FA Cup extra-preliminary round victory over league rivals Horndean last time out.
However, just like Stiles' side, Dave Carter's men are still searching for their first Wessex Premier win this term after an opening-day draw at Hamble Club.