Hooper’s sweet on Humbugs escape

Barry Hooper
Barry Hooper
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Hayling host Totton & Eling at the College Ground tomorrow, aiming to end a run of nine games without a win (3pm).

And manager Lee Paul has recruited former Moneyfields defender Barry Hooper to help shore up his side.

The Humbugs are propping up the Wessex League premier division table.

And the boss knows a change of fortune is essential.

Paul insists his side are good enough to beat the drop but their survival bid needs to start sooner rather than later.

There were encouraging signs from the Humbugs in their 2-1 midweek defeat at Moneyfields.

The boss wants to see his side build on that performance and gain a vital three points against Totton & Eling.

‘Our performance at Moneyfields was most encouraging,’ said Paul.

‘The players did the jobs asked of them and put in a dogged, determined performance against a good Moneyfields side.

‘We fought for everything, and if we had taken our chances in the first half, we would have come away with at least a draw.

‘There are still 17 games for us to play, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t stay up.

‘It is very tight at the bottom and a couple of wins can make a big difference.

‘The next four or five games are critical for us.’

Defender Nic Edgington and striker Leroy Williams are unavailable but Scott Thornton returns from a calf strain.

Hayling United: Harrop, Walker, Thornton, Hooper, Watts, Smallbones, Case, Black, Clements, Reay, Martin, Burney, Ayres.

n Fareham are aiming to make it three consecutive wins as they welcome Alton Town to Cams Alders (3pm).

‘Our midweek win over Hamble was more convincing than the scoreline suggests,’ said Reds manager Matt Parr.

‘We are starting to find our feet again after an enforced break and feel we can be a match for anyone.

‘Alton are a much-improved outfit and under John Robson are going to be well organised.

‘They also possess some pace up front so we will have to be on our mettle.’

The home side welcome back Jimmy Cuthbert but Dan Byrne is still injured.

Fareham Town: Redman, Warren, Goldring, Ward, Boud, Cotton, Thompson, Kirby, Spurway, Lindsey, Hayes, Jones, Buckland, McKie, Douglas.

n Moneyfields host Christchurch looking to maintain their winning ways (3pm).

Against Hayling in midweek, they played lovely, controlled football at times but let themselves down with the final ball.

‘We blow hot and cold and it is very frustrating,’ said manager Miles Rutherford.

Moneyfields: Hook, Evans, Horrell, Kerridge, Elias, Rackley, Jones, Gauntlett, N’Doye, Hunt, Bailey, Singh, Gregory, Page, Wain.

n Horndean may have to replay their Wessex League division one clash with Petersfield Town, which was abandoned after 75 minutes on Tuesday night.

Early indications suggested the 4-1 result would stand but league officials are now set to meet on February 14 to decide whether a replay is required.