Number of recent postponements will have done clubs across the Wessex League Premier Division the 'world of good', according to Horndean boss Michael Birmingham

Horndean manager Michael Birmingham reckons a recent spate of postponements will have done clubs across the Wessex League Premier Division 'a world of good'.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:11 pm
Horndean boss Michael Birmingham. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 100721-43)
Horndean boss Michael Birmingham. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 100721-43)

The wet weather which has continued post-Christmas and into the new year has seen a succession of matches called off because of waterlogged pitches across the division.

Table-toppers Horndean saw a midweek Portsmouth Senior Cup meeting with Petersfield Town at Five Heads Park postponed due to a wet playing surface.

And the Deans will have played just one fixture in the previous 32 days when they welcome seventh-placed Bashley in the league on Saturday.

But Birmingham is of the opinion the enforced break will benefit his players as well as clubs who have faced a similar shortage of fixtures since Christmas - particularly after the amount of Wessex Premier matches which were crammed in pre-Christmas.

The Deans boss stated: ‘This season was always going to be tough, we knew that - now it looks like the season is going to finish - this season always going to be difficult for the players. I think with the players at this level, with the jobs they’ve got, the break has probably done everyone the world of good - and that’s every single club in the league.

‘We were on 24 games by Christmas, which was great, you’ve only another 14 or 15 games so there’s not so much of a panic or pressure in the last four months (of the season) of fitting those games in.’

Leaders Horndean are one of three teams in the division locked on 54 points, with second-placed Hamworthy and Baffins Milton Rovers - in third - all sitting joint-top of the standings.

Captain Ash Howes remains suspended for the Bashley meeting but defender Jack Lee is back available after a ban as the Deans will look to remain top of the table come Saturday evening.

n US Portsmouth will be hoping to push themselves further clear of Wessex League Premier Division danger on Saturday.

Tom Grice’s 15th-placed side, who’ve won just one of their previous six league matches, entertain second-bottom Amesbury, who’ve managed just a single Wessex Premier win in 23 games so far this term.