Petersfield delighted to welcome Swindon

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

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Wessex League premier division new-boys Petersfield Town host League One side Swindon Town at Love Lane tonight (7.45pm).

Manager Ian Saunders is excited by the prospect of taking on Football League opposition.

He is looking forward to a great occasion for everyone involved.

‘This is a fantastic game for our club and probably the biggest here in 30 years,’ said Saunders.

‘It is a great opportunity for my players to experience the tempo and ability that we all strive to achieve.

‘I am in the army and Swindon asked if they could do a boot camp pre-season training session at the camp.

‘In return they agreed to bring all their first team squad to us for a friendly.

‘We expect to be beaten but it is important to test yourself against the best.’

Petersfield warmed up for their big game with a 3-2 win over AFC Totton.

Top prospect Ryan Coker, 18, grabbed a couple of goals after Andy Todd had put them in front.

Town have signed attacking midfielder Jake Slater from Moneyfields and Alex Lowley, a left-sided midfield player who was in the Hampshire Premier League last season.

Saunders also has another couple of targets on his radar.

Town have been handed a tough start to their premier division campaign with a trip to Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

Saunders is convinced his team can survive in their first season back in the top flight.

‘I believe as a club we belong in the premier division,’ said Saunders.

‘My aim is to make sure that we are still a premier division club at the end of the season.’

Fareham Town take on United Services in a friendly at Burnaby Road tonight (7.45pm).

First-half goals from Graham Lindsey and Chukki Dibigbo saw off AFC Stoneham at their Chestnut Avenue ground in their opening friendly.

Fareham open their league campaign against Whitchurch United at Cams Alders on Saturday, August 2.

In the Wessex League Cup Horndean have been handed a first round home tie against East Cowes Vics.