Moneyfields to ring changes for longest trip of the Wessex League Premier Division season
Boss Glenn Turnbull rested captain Steve Hutchings, Tom Cain, James Franklyn and Dec Seiden for Tuesday’s Portsmouth Senior Cup win against Clanfield.
But all are expected back for Saturday’s near 180-mile round trip to Portland.
Centre half Harry Birmingham, though, is unavailable and midfielder Callum Glen remains sidelined after picking up an injury at Bashley a fortnight ago.
Matt McGlinchey partnered Jordan Pile in central midfield against Clanfield, after Evans and McGlinchey had featured in those roles against Portchester last Saturday.
For the first time this season, the Moneys squad will this weekend travel by coach - something they will repeat a fortnight later when they go to Shaftesbury in the quarter finals of the Wessex League Cup.
‘It’s something different for the players,’ said Turnbull. ‘Let’s hope the trip back is like it was at Tavistock last season.’ That was a reference to US Portsmouth’s fifth round win in west Devon last April, their only away tie en route to the FA Vase semi-final.
Bradey Norton and Danny Burroughs - both on the way back after injury - got much-needed minutes against Clanfield, but Turnbull said they might be with the reserves against Liphook in the Hampshire Premier League this weekend.
There is also good news on three other injured players.
Midfielder Harry Bedford should be fit to return to full contact training before Christmas, while striker Tyler Moret was due to return this week.
Bedford has not played since suffering an ACL injury in August 2020, while Moret has only made two sub appearances this season.
Right wing-back Chad Cornwell, meanwhile, is continuing his rehab from a foot injury with some pool training.
Striker Mig Dark, however, remains sidelined with a ‘worrying’ hamstring injury.
This weekend’s game is the first time Moneys have faced Portland since the pair finished the Wessex Premier season in 2016/17 as the top two.
The Dorset club took the title by a single point, after Moneys had been deducted three for fielding an ineligible player.
Their last meeting, in October 2016, saw Moneys beaten 3-0 away. The only member of the losing squad that day still at the club is defender Liam Kyle, who is also expected to be on reserve duty this weekend.
Portland aren’t such a force these days and currently lie fifth bottom. They are, though, unbeaten at Grove Corner in their last five league games and kept a clean sheet against Blackfield & Langley in a 0-0 stalemate.