Horndean boss Michael Birmingham facing striking dilemma while Moneyfields manager Glenn Turnbull eager to see right reaction in Dover Road meeting after damning squad assessment

Horndean boss Michael Birmingham must decide how to replace the Wessex League Premier Division’s top scorer as his side bid to move five points clear at the top.

By Lewis Mason
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 6:00 am
Horndean fear they could be without leading scorer Connor Duffin for the remainder of the season Picture: Keith Woodland (211219-75)
Horndean fear they could be without leading scorer Connor Duffin for the remainder of the season Picture: Keith Woodland (211219-75)

Birmingham fears Connor Duffin could miss the rest of the season after suffering a badly broken nose in Saturday’s 4-2 home win over Bashley.

Duffin had earlier scored his 27th league goal in only 24 starts this season before being substituted at half-time.

Horndean have two huge games this week - at Moneyfields tonight and home to title rivals Hamworthy United on Saturday.

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Duffin netted twice when Horndean comfortably beat Moneys 3-0 at Five Heads Park in September.

Moneys were below par that night with talisman Steve Hutchings returning from a few weeks out with injury and goalscoring midfielder James Franklyn playing up front as Dec Seiden was injured.

‘That was a good time to play Moneyfields,’ said Birmingham.

‘The King (Hutchings) was only 60 per cent fit and the Lord (Franklyn) couldn’t make his runs from midfield because he was up front.

‘I don’t think it’s a case of Moneyfields being out for revenge (for losing 3-0). You can’t go through life thinking that every time you lose.’

Two former Moneys players - midfielder Ash Howes and defender Jack Lee - come back into contention to face their former club.

Howes has not played since December 11 while Lee’s last action was against Fareham in late November before he went off injured in the first half.

Meanwhile, Moneyfields manager Glenn Turnbull has a few problems of his own ahead of the Deans’ visit to Dover Road.

And the Moneys manager warned his men they need to quickly up their standards with tonight’s Horndean clash followed by a trip to sixth-placed Shaftesbury on Saturday.

Turnbull said: ‘I need people to start stepping in and really wanting to win a game of football. We've got Horndean Tuesday and Shaftesbury Saturday, so we've got a real easy run now!

'There will ordinarily be changes, that's the way I wanted to run it for the rest of the season, we've got a lot of games, a big squad, so we'll pick a team to go out and do that.’