Refreshed Deans ready to return... Moneys looking up

Matt Burt
Matt Burt
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Horndean return to action after their enforced Christmas break by taking on Newport IOW in the Wessex League premier division at Five Heads Park (3pm).

Weather badly disrupted their festive games and Craig Pearce’s side are keen to pick up where they left off before the holiday period.

The manager is back from a holiday in Mexico, during which time he missed just one game because of the weather.

‘I missed our 3-2 win at Andover but we have not played a game since,’ said Pearce.

‘The players are keen to get back out there to pick up the momentum again after the break we’ve had.

‘Hopefully they won’t be too rusty and will quickly get back on it again.

‘If we can do that then we will stay right up there at the top.’

Pearce will have to do without central defender Matt Burt.

He serves a one-match ban after picking up five bookings.

Meanwhile, captain Ian Humble and striker Lee Tigwell are injury doubts and will be assessed before the game.

Moneyfields’ FA Vase heroes face a tough test against fourth-placed Sholing Sports as they return to league action at Dover Road.

Dave Carter’s team stormed to an impressive Vase replay win at Brimscombe & Thrupp during the week but their focus now returns to picking up league points.

‘We are in a poor position and must look to start climbing the league,’ said Carter.

‘Our first aim is to push towards the top 10 and take it from there.

‘With having a bigger squad now it means that I have plenty of options to rest players without weakening the team.

‘Sholing will be a good test and show us how far we have come.’

The home side have Dan Woodward, Nathan Paxton, Gary Austin, Gavin Spurway, Robbie Pitman, Louie Martin and Jack McFarlane available again after they were cup-tied in the Vase.

Third-placed AFC Portchester will look to get back to winning ways as they travel to lowly Alresford Town.

Royals boss Graham Rix was hugely disappointed when his team dropped two points at home against Whitchurch United before Christmas.

‘We have drawn far too many games and must start turning them into wins,’ said Rix.

‘Against Whitchurch we were not creative enough and were poor on the day.’