AFC PORTCHESTER will aim to put a dent in Moneyfields’ Wessex League premier division title charge at Wicor Rec tonight (7.45pm).
Having opened up a nine-point gap at the top of the league the visitors are in pole position.
The fourth-placed Royals have title ambitions of their own, however, and are looking for a rare league double over their city neighbours.
Portchester assistant-manager Steve Johnson is looking forward to a huge game for both teams.
He said: ‘Moneyfields are in the box seat at the moment but we are looking to close the gap.
‘They are 10 points ahead of us so it is important we try to win the game.
‘If we do then it will increase the pressure on them.
‘So there is a lot at stake for both teams and I am expecting a big crowd.
‘It will boil down to who handles the pressure best and performs on the night.
‘Discipline will be key because it is sure to be a passionate affair.
‘When we beat them earlier in the season it was because of a controlled disciplined performance.’
The home side have experienced midfielder Steve Ramsey back in contention after a six-week injury lay-off.
Left-back George Wells is suspended with Luke Heard and Joe Noakes ruled out by injury.
Despite having a clear lead at the top, Moneyfields showed they have no intention of resting on their laurels by adding to their squad.
Over Christmas Gosport Borough forward Dan Wooden signed and he is expected to come straight into the squad.
Horndean start the year with an attractive contest against in-form Alresford Town at Five Heads Park.
Manager Michael Birmingham is hoping the sickness that forced the festive game against Moneyfields to be postponed has cleared.
He is expecting a tough game against opponents who have won their past seven games.
‘I am hoping to have a number of players back,’ said Birmingham.
‘Alresford are a bit like us, they don’t know when to give up.
Fareham Town resume their fight to avoid relegation with a long trip to Amesbury Town.
Reds boss Steve Stone insists his side can do enough to stay up.
‘If we can get our full squad out on a regular basis we have the quality to stay at this level,’ said Stone.