‘It was difficult not to get too high’ – US Portsmouth aim to continue winning Wessex League run
US Portsmouth are aiming to bag more Wessex League points prior to the club’s first FA Vase tie since last season’s heartbreaking semi-final penalty shoot-out loss.
US picked up their first top half scalp last weekend when they followed up a home win over Bournemouth Poppies by beating Fareham Town 1-0 at the Victory Stadium.
Tom Grice’s revitalised squad now travel to Hamble Club on Saturday before reaching the halfway point in their Premier Division fixture list at home to Alton next Tuesday, the only top flight game scheduled for that evening.
US then travel to Combined Counties League club Frimley Green in the FA Vase - having been given a bye through the first three rounds due to last season’s fairytale exploits.
‘We want to make a good go of the Vase,’ said Grice. ‘We know how lucrative it can be and how it can expand your profile.
‘Ideally we wouldn’t have played Alton next Tuesday - we have played a lot of league games and sometimes the lads don’t get much chance to recover.’
Lamin Jatta’s second half winner against Fareham saw US pick up their first PO postcode points of the season after five successive (and mainly heavy) defeats.
‘That win meant a hell of a lot to myself and the players,’ stated Grice. ‘I don’t think Pete Stiles (Fareham boss) could have too many complaints.
‘I know you shouldn’t get too high after a win or get too low after a defeat, but it was difficult not to get too high because it was a new experience for the boys.’
US could well be unchanged at Hamble, with Jatta and Joe Johnson remaining up front and another recent signing, Tom Dinsmore, starting his fourth game in central midfield.
‘Lamin is an infectious lad and the boys have taken to him already,’ said Grice. ‘And Tom’s given us a bit more stability. He hasn’t been lasting the 90 minutes so far but as he gets fitter he will go from strength to strength.’
Grice has allowed striker Luke Richards to be dual signed by Moneyfields Reserves.
The player has not appeared for US’ first team recently after making two early-season starts.
Richards netted on his Moneys debut in Wednesday’s 4-2 home loss to Colden Common in the Hampshire Premier League Senior Division.