Portchester focus on promotion push... Horndean opportunity

Rob Evans
Rob Evans
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AFC PORTCHESTER boss Ian Saunders is determined to keep his players feet firmly on the ground as they visit Newport IOW in the Wessex League premier division tomorrow night (7.45pm).

The Royals have been lifted by their superb 1-0 win over Southern League premier division side Dorchester in the FA Cup.

As a reward they have been given a trip to National League South side Truro City in the second qualifying round.

The Cup form has provided the team with a big boost and now they will look to take that confidence into league duty.

Saunders insists the priority is picking up league points on the Isle of Wight first before the next round of the Cup.

‘We can all look forward to a big day out in the FA Cup but our bread and butter is the league,’ said the Royals manager.

‘At the start of the season our target was to challenge for promotion and move up the non-league ladder.

‘We want to finish as high as we can and that has to remain our main focus.

‘Two teams go up at the end of the season and we want to be one of them.

‘Beating Dorchester took a huge effort and a few players picked up knocks.

‘I will take stock and see what side I can take across to Newport.

‘When the Truro game comes along we will do things properly, get a coach and stay overnight.

‘We will be determined to go there, be competitive and enjoy the whole experience.’

Gosport Borough will host Swindon Supermarine in the next round of the FA Cup at Privett Park.

Supermarine are currently unbeaten in sixth place in the Southern League west division, one level below Borough.

Horndean are back in Hampshire Senior Cup action at Lymington Town tomorrow night (7.45pm) following their disappointing FA Cup exit.

Michael Birmingham intends to freshen up his squad with a number of players returning to action.

They are set to be handed the chance to show their quality.

Ash Howes is back from suspension with Ian Humble and Jay Johnson also available.

‘It is a chance for some of my players who have found themselves on the fringe.

‘They have been patient and now is the time for them to come in and make a case for themselves,’ said Birmingham.

‘We have an FA Vase game on Saturday and they are playing for their places in the side.’