Mawthorpe set for Moneys debut... Onus will be on Royals

GOALKEEPER Steve Mawthorpe makes his debut for Moneyfields against Bournemouth in their Wessex League premier division encounter at Dover Road tomorrow (3pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:19 am
Gary Austin
Gary Austin

The 24 year old has signed from Southern League outfit AFC Totton and replaces the suspended Matt Shortt.

The Copnor club have also recruited midfielder Ashley Howes from Blackfield & Langley but the deal wasn’t completed in time for him to figure.

Manager Dave Carter wants league-leaders Moneyfields to keep turning the screw at the top.

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They have opened up a nine-point gap ahead of their closest rivals in the race to secure the league title.

Carter is keen to see his side maintain that advantage on the chasing pack.

He said: ‘We have won four of our last five games and must look to keep the good run going.

‘Bournemouth won’t be easy because they have upset a few teams recently.

‘We musn’t regard a win as being a foregone conclusion and will have to be prepared to work hard.

‘It is something that we have been doing.

‘Our discipline has got better, we are keeping clean sheets and have scored 17 goals in the past five games.’

Jake Raine and Gary Austin are ruled out by suspension.

Third-placed AFC Portchester entertain relegation-battling Cowes Sports at Wicor Rec tomorrow (3pm).

After their indifferent start to the season the Royals have improved to become realistic title challengers.

Manager Graham Rix insists mental attitude will be key against the Yachtsmen.

‘Cowes will come and try to make it difficult so the onus will be on us,’ said Rix.

‘We still have some chasing to do so the pressure is on us to keep winning.’

Powerful wide player Joe Noakes is injured and with a few players unavailable Rix will have to reshuffle his side.

He is boosted by the return of 18-year-old defender Tom Cain from suspension.

Michael Birmingham believes the 3G pitch at Hamworthy United will suit the way Horndean play when the teams meet tomorrow (3pm).

‘We like to get the ball own and pass it,’ said Birmingham.

‘Hamworthy are a hard-working side so first and foremost we have to match that.’

Jordan Fancy could be fit to return after a nasty leg injury.

Defenders Luke Heard and Jay Johnson are both out injured.