Rams eye top spot

Robbie Tambling Picture: George Spear
Robbie Tambling Picture: George Spear
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Petersfield can return to the top of the Wessex League premier division by beating Alresford at Arlebury Park tonight (7.45pm).

Three points will see the Rams leapfrog Moneyfields and regain the lead ahead of a busy period of fixtures.

Boss Ian Saunders knows his team will be tested to the full over the next three weeks as they take on four of their closest title rivals.

The manager wants his team to maintain their momentum with a win at Alresford but doesn’t expect it to be easy.

‘We have to view it as an opportunity to pick up three more points but Alresford have shown a big improvement recently,’ said Saunders.

‘The next three weeks will certainly test our mettle.

‘It is the same for all the top-six sides, though, because we all play each other this month.

‘Although nothing will be decided by the end of the month, we can definitely expect some movement at the top. If we can have a decent month and give a good account of ourselves we can stay up there.’

Striker Robbie Tambling returns after a shoulder injury and Lewis Hyde continues to recover well from his triple leg-break.

AFC Portchester will be eyeing a Wessex League Cup semi-final place when they take on Newport IOW at Wicor Rec (7.45pm).

Director of football Mick Jenkins is hoping to see a resurgent Royals in the second half of the season.

‘We are starting to get all our players back and want to push forward between now and the end of the season,’ said Jenkins.

‘In the first half of the campaign we suffered from injuries, unavailability and suspensions.

‘A top-six finish and some silverware would make it a successful season for us.

‘Newport won’t be easy because they have some good players in their squad.

‘We have picked up four points from our two Christmas games and are in good form.’

Defender Simon Stone returns to the squad after illness and new signing Alex Baldacchino may face a fitness test on his ankle.

Striker Simon Woods is still away with work, though.

US Portsmouth will look to surprise premier division title-chasers Winchester City in their Hampshire Senior Cup tie at Burnaby Road (7.45pm).