Grounds for optimism as Petersfield chase promotion

Ian Saunders
Ian Saunders
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Petersfield Town are ready to make another step up the pyramid after their Love Lane ground was passed fit for the Southern League.

The Wessex League premier division leaders take on Verwood Town tomorrow (3pm).

Rams manager Ian Saunders praised the effort and hard work of the club members after the successful visit from the ground-grading committee in midweek.

‘It is a momentous day for the football club and the result of a tremendous amount of hard work,’ said Saunders.

‘The club were not in rack and ruin but not a lot had been done for 20 years.

‘In the last 12 months a lot of people have given their time and different skills to reinvigorate the place.

‘There are a lot of people out there who didn’t expect us to pass.

‘Now all we have to do is win three of our final five games and the title will be ours and hopefully promotion.’

Saunders is expecting an awkward game in the New Forest against hosts who have already taken points off top teams this season.

The visitors know they can’t afford any slip-ups with Winchester City on their tails just four points behind.

Saunders is delighted to have a full-strength squad to choose from, including striker Robbie Tambling who scored four goals against Fawley last time out.

Fareham Town’s joy of climbing out of the relegation zone after beating Blackfield & Langley 1-0 in midweek was soon dampened.

Within 24 hours closest rivals Christchurch beat Andover Town 5-1 to leapfrog back above them.

Reds boss Matt Parr takes his team to Newport.

‘It was disappointing to find ourselves back in the bottom two,’ said Parr.

‘We are playing well at the moment and must aim to keep adding to our points tally.

‘It is going to be very tight but I still think the belief and togetherness of the squad can save us.’

AFC Portchester face Bournemouth Poppies at Wicor Mill (3pm).

Horndean go to Folland Sports (3pm).