Incredible 203 Wessex Premier goals netted between them so far - but Horndean boss Michael Birmingham says than will not guarantee Shaftesbury goal-fest

Horndean and Shaftesbury might have scored a sensational 203 Wessex League Premier goals between them this season - but Michael Birmingham insisted that doesn't necessarily guarantee a goal-fest when the teams face-off at Five Heads Park on Saturday.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:25 pm

The second-placed Deans will be looking to follow the Rockies in reaching a century of league goals for the campaign when they battle it out.

Shaftesbury took their Wessex League Premier goals for tally for the season to a remarkable 105 in just 32 games thanks to a 6-1 home win over Bournemouth in midweek.

Horndean, who are now just a point and place above of Ollie Cherett's third-placed side in the table heading into the contest, are themselves on 98 goals in the league alone from 33 matches.

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Horndean boss Michael Birmingham Picture: Martyn White

But Birmingham is expecting a more cagey contest than many might be anticipating with the rivals sitting so closely in the division.

The Deans boss said: ‘To be honest, I think they're (Shaftesbury) dark horses to go up and challenge Hamworthy and rightly so.

‘At the end of the day, they gave us a right good drubbing at their place - and rightly so - to be honest, we've got to make sure we're at our maximum or it could be another one again.

‘We've got to try to get as many points as possible, with seven games to go, to still be competing for something in the middle or end of April.

‘Ollie (Cherett) played all his career as a centre-half, I was more or less a holding midfielder so will the defences come out on top? Who knows. It all depends what teams turn up.

‘They're flying at the moment, we're doing okay at the moment, hopefully it'll be a good game - I'm sure it will be.’

Birmingham believes the fixture schedule has not fallen too kindly for Horndean, as they travel to leaders Hamworthy next Saturday after hosting third-placed Shaftesbury - while they also have a visit to struggling Hythe & Dibden sandwiched in midweek.

He added: ‘We've probably got the two favourites to go up in the space of eight days which is Shaftesbury, who are joint-favourites, and then Hamworthy. It's going to be extremely tough.’