Wessex strugglers up for the scrap

Horndean boss Dave Carter
Horndean boss Dave Carter
Gosport Borough's Alfie Lis conceded a second-half penalty

Borough lose ground as they concede five again

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The fight for Wessex League premier division survival is developing into a rare old scrap, with Hayling United and Horndean fighting for survival.

The chances are their battle against the drop will go to the wire, and it will be all about who keeps their nerve.

Horndean, who meet Romsey Town at Five Heads Park (3pm), are in pole position.

They currently sit third from bottom – three points ahead of rock-bottom Hayling.

But boss Dave Carter knows they can’t afford any slip-ups, with the Humbugs waiting to pounce.

‘Its ours to throw away and we don’t intend to do that,’ said Carter.

‘We had an excellent 3-1 win at Totton & Eling last week and that came through sheer hard work.

‘It is vital we remain focused and pick up points this weekend because we have a run of tough games ahead.’

The home side will give a debut to ex-Gosport full-back Simon Stone but still have Gavin Spurway and Nathan Paxton suspended.

Goalkeeper Simon Howard and central defender Tom Chapman return after illness and injury.

Horndean: Howard, Blackmore, Stone, Chapman, Perkins, Shepherd, Bell, Fennemore, Milroy, McKie, Fenelon, Austin, Hayes, Warren, Farrugia, Martin, Sharp

n After rekindling their survival chances in midweek with a comprehensive home win over Totton & Eling, Hayling host Bournemouth Poppies (3pm).

‘After our disappointing defeat at Laverstock last Saturday, the lads put in a fantastic performance,’ said manager Steve Poulton.

‘It was so important psychologically to keep the gap between us and Horndean at three points. They still have to come to us at the start of next month and it all remains in the mix.

‘We feel we have restored a lot of our confidence and now is a great time to be finding some form.’

The Humbugs name an unchanged squad.

Hayling United: Harrop, Black, Watts, Baker, Gadd, Tigwell, Salter-Vaile, Thurgood, Case, Kinchen, Easton, Cooper, Wilson, Burney, Fisher

n Fareham Town manager Matt Parr believes his side can travel to league leaders Winchester City with realistic ambitions of causing an upset (3pm).

‘We know Winchester haven’t been beaten for a while and are champions-elect but we are going there to win,’ said Parr.

‘It is no good going and trying to shut-up shop.

‘We put in a good, solid professional performance to beat Romsey last week and I am looking for us to take that forward.’

The visitors are without Graham Lindsey due to a hamstring injury but Rob Tambling is back from illness. Dave Birmingham and Wayne Boud are still suspended.

Fareham Town: Douglas, Smith, Lewis, Jones, Doswell, Warren, Birt, Stevens, Thompson, Cuthbert, Windsor, Tambling, Tattersall, Vickers, Redman

n Moneyfields boss Miles Rutherford is looking forward to tonight’s visit to Totton & Eling (7.45pm).

The Copnor club lost their long unbeaten run against leaders Winchester City but Rutherford believes they can bounce back to winning ways.

‘The aim now is to win as many games as we can and achieve a top-five finish,’ he said.

‘Playing on a Friday night will be something a little different.’

Scott Cameron continues in goal for Dave Hook who could be out for the rest of the season due to knee ligament damage.

Danny Boyle and Michael Birmingham are still injured and Jack Lee faces a fitness test.

Moneyfields: Cameron, Evans, Wain S, Lee, Horrell, Rackley, Lacey, Gauntlett, Bailey, Slater, Hutchings, Middleton, N’Doye, Wain D