Petersfield Town hope to put the dramas of Saturday’s half-time departure of manager John Robson behind them against Moneyfields tonight.
The Rams boss left the ground during the Southern League match against Kidlington, with his side 3-0 down at the break. They eventually lost 4-2.
First-team assistant manager Matt Collins and reserves boss Shane Brayson will take charge of tonight’s Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final tie at Love Lane (7.45pm).
The club’s committee are expected to meet this week to put in place a plan for the rest of the season. In the meantime, chairman Graeme Moir believes everyone at the club needs to pull together.
‘The football keeps on coming at this stage of the season so it leaves you with little time to reflect on events and make any major changes,’ he said.
‘I’ve met with John Robson since Saturday and he has his reasons for what happened – and in many ways I can sympathise with what happened due to everything that he has had to try to cope with this season.
‘It seems very bizarre when you take everything that has happened to us this season that we are competing in the semi-final of a cup competition tonight, but that chance to get to a final has come our way.
‘It would be fantastic for the club to have a night at the Portsmouth Senior Cup final against Havant & Waterlooville – to have something for everyone at the club to look forward to after the season we have had would be great.
‘But Moneyfields are a formidable side at the moment and despite our respective league statuses they will go into tonight’s game as strong favourites to win.’
Moneyfields have a league and cup double in their sights as they travel to Love Lane.
Dave Carter’s side are seven points clear at the top of the Wessex premier – and the chance of adding a cup final at Fratton Park is also high on the Dover Road club’s agenda.
‘Petersfield are currently playing at the level we aspire to,’ said Carter.
‘It looks very much as though they are going to be coming down but that just makes them more dangerous.
‘Because of their situation they have very little else to play for the rest this season.
‘They will be up for it so we will be fielding a strong side.
‘The chance to go up against the Hawks at Fratton Park is a huge carrot for us.’
Moneyfields have Marley Ridge and Dan Wooden cup-tied. Nathan Paxton, Gary Austin and Alex Shephard are ruled out by suspension.
n AFC Portchester will look to pile more misery on Gosport Borough as the two sides meet in the semi-finals of the Russell-Cotes Cup at the Blanchard Wells Stadium.
n Horndean are in Wessex premier action against Bemerton Heath Harlequins at Five Heads Park.
Michael Birmingham is looking for his side to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat at Portland United.
– KEVIN RICKETTS