Heights Horndean must continue to reach with Blackfield & Langley next Wessex League Premier Division opponents

Michael Birmingham told his Horndean players not to think they've hit the 'big time' after their impressive Wessex League Premier Division midweek win at AFC Portchester.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:10 pm
Connor Duffin hit Horndean's opener in the midweek win at AFC Portchester. Picture: Barry Zee

And he warned if his squad adopt that mindset for Saturday's league visit of Blackfield & Langley they will quickly come crashing down.

The Deans recorded a sixth league win in eight games this season with a 3-1 triumph in atrocious conditions at Portchester on Tuesday.

It followed on from another eye-catching performance against Wessex Premier leaders Brockenhurst in the FA Vase last weekend, although they were beaten on penalties at Five Heads Park.

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Horndean are well placed in fourth at present after an encouraging start, six points off leaders Brockenhurst with three games in hand.

But the tough run of fixtures keeps coming for Birmingham' s men, with Blackfield at home in the league up next.

And the Deans boss stressed his side cannot afford a drop in the high levels of performance they've produced over the past week.

Birmingham said: ‘We’ve got to make sure we’re spot on again on Saturday otherwise the result on Tuesday means absolutely nothing.

‘It’s going to be a tough league and it brings you back down to Earth very, very quickly. If we think we’re ‘Big Time Charlie’s’ and we think we’ve made it, we’ll get a little slap and we’ll be brought straight back down to Earth.’

Blackfield head to Five Heads Park sitting 12th in the table having won three of their opening seven league games.

But they have dumped both Portchester out of the FA Cup and AFC Stoneham, who beat Horndean 2-0 in the league earlier this month, out of the FA Vase. And Birmingham is anticipating another grind for his troops against Blackfield.

He said: ‘The lads have worked extremely hard the past two games so training will be light (building up to the weekend).

‘Obviously Blackfield, they’re a top side again, it’s a tough month for us. They’re a very good side going forward, Fawzi (Saadi) is a great manager who was a great player as well.

‘They are a very, very good side, they beat Stoneham in the FA Vase, who turned us over 2-0 and done a good job on us as well. We know it’s going to be a very, very tough game.’

Defender Jack Lee, who pulled up with a hamstring injury in the midweek win against Portchester, is suspended for the visit of Blackfield.

Fellow centre-half Luke Dempsey, who replaced Lee at the Royals on Tuesday, is also a doubt for this weekend.