Royals must raise game for Hamworthy

Joe Bye returns for AFC Portchester. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141332-676)
Joe Bye returns for AFC Portchester. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141332-676)
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Steve Johnson is demanding more from AFC Portchester as they host Hamworthy United in the Wessex League premier division at Wicor Rec (3pm).

Both teams go into the game unbeaten and the Royals’ assistant boss reckons his side will have to raise their game to come out on top.

‘We have been happy with the results but our performances have left a little to be desired,’ said Johnson.

‘There is a lot still for us to work on because we haven’t been playing particularly well.

‘We have not had the control in games we are looking for.

‘Our next few games are a lot more challenging and if we don’t apply ourselves we could easily come unstuck.’

The Royals are boosted by the return of Joe Bye from a four-match suspension and fellow midfielder Sean Thurgood, who has missed the last three games through injury.

New boss Steve Stone takes charge of Fareham Town for the first time as they host Andover Town at Cams Alders (3pm).

Early pacesetters Horndean face a difficult trip to fellow unbeaten hosts Bemerton Heath Harlequins (3pm).

Manager Dave Carter wants his players to enjoy being top of the league and work hard to stay there.

‘It is the first time Horndean have been at the top of the premier division,’ said Carter.

‘It’s dizzy up there. The incentive for the players is to keep winning to make sure we stay up there.

‘It will be tough at Bemerton but we showed in our 4-0 win over Fareham we can be clinical in front of goal.’

The visitors are without Gary Austin, who is away on holiday.

Moneyfields expect to be without key players for their trip to Verwood Town.

Striker and captain Steve Hutchings has ankle problems, Tom McInnes has a foot injury and Jake Raine a groin strain.

Dougie Rowe is not quite fit after a long-term injury, while Alfie Rutherford is with Bognor.

‘The injuries are starting to stack up,’ said Moneys manager Miles Rutherford.