Deans eye Portchester repeat... Reds must learn lessons

Horndean beat Melksham
Horndean beat Melksham
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HORNDEAN are bidding to maintain their perfect start to the season as they welcome AFC Portchester to Five Heads Park in the Wessex League premier division tonight (7.45pm).

The home side began the season with a win at Fareham Town and manager Michael Birmingham is keen to take another local scalp.

A good FA Cup win against Melksham at the weekend provided another boost to the confidence.

Both the Deans and the Royals are closely connected with lots of players who know each other very well.

The matches are usually extremely close.

Boss Birmingham is expecting more of the same when they meet tonight.

He said: ‘We always have close games with them and last season we came out on top in a fiery affair.

‘Both teams have players involved who have featured for both clubs and that always adds an extra bit of spice.

‘Portchester are rightly considered one of the favourites.

‘It is important we are on our game and don’t give them a sniff.’

Horndean expect to be without the suspended Ian Humble who was sent off in the opening game of the season.

After losing their opening league game the Royals bounced back with a 5-1 FA Cup win at Christchurch.

Assistant manager Ian Saunders is also expecting a competitive affair as his team bid to make up for the defeat to the Deans last time.

‘We will be aiming to put last season to rights,’ he said.

‘It will be nice to get our first points on the board and we will be prepared to give it a good go.

‘Horndean play good football and that hopefully will suit us.’

Fareham Town take on Petersfield Town at Cams Alders (7.45pm).

Both teams are looking to get off the mark in the league after losing their opening games.

The Reds are likely to go into the game the more confident of the two after an excellent 4-2 FA Cup win at Bashley.

In contrast the Rams suffered a 5-0 thumping at Thatcham Town.

‘I am hoping we have learned the lessons from last week’s derby against Horndean,’ said Fareham boss Pete Stiles.

The hosts are without central defender Tom Froggatt who is suspended but have Elliot Roberts and Luke James available.

Baffins Milton Rovers face a difficult task at Sholing Sports as they look to continue their good start at the higher level.