US Portsmouth boss celebrates ‘massive’ double signing to boost Wessex promotion challenge

US Portsmouth this week swooped to make an impressive double signing.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 3:25 pm
Andy Todd in goalscoring action for AFC Portchester in 2017

The Wessex League Division 1 promotion hopefuls have announced the arrivals of striker Andy Todd and midfielder Harry Bedford.

Todd was instrumental in helping Petersfield win the Wessex Premier title in 2014/15, while Bedford has been in goalscoring form for the Rams this term.

Bedford goes straight into the US squad for this weekend’s home clash with Romsey, but Todd won’t be available until the middle of next month.

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He has been called up for the combined Army/Navy/RAF squad and will soon be travelling to Holland to play.

US boss Glenn Turnbull is delighted, saying: ‘These are massive signings for us.

‘We actually signed Andy Todd in the summer but he’s only just finished a deployment abroad.

‘Harry’s a local lad, from North End, and he knows some of our players from the Havant academy.

‘I think he was at Portchester for a while, so it’s great that players who have played at those sort of clubs are now keen to join us.

‘I must say Petersfield were absolutely wonderful when we put in seven days for Harry last week.

‘They knew he wanted to come to us, and their attitude was brilliant, bearing in mind it’s the equivalent of us losing James Franklyn.’

Todd fired 31 goals in all competitions for Petersfield in 2014/15. Of those, 24 came in 23 league games and the only men to net more Wessex top flight goals that term were Winchester’s Warren Bentley (37), Moneyfields’ Steve Hutchings (37) and Todd’s Petersfield colleague Warren Hunt (30).

Todd subsequently moved to Portchester and netted 15 times in 30 appearances for the Royals in 2017/18.

‘Up front and centre forward are the two areas I wanted to strengthen to consolidate our squad,’ said Turnbull. ‘Our aim hasn’t changed - we’re still aiming to finish in the top four.’

US’ promotion hopes were improved slightly in midweek when Pewsey Vale announced they were withdrawing from the league.

As the official table has not been adjusted yet, US are still third - a point behind Hythe and Downton.

But if Pewsey’s results were expunged, US would be top as Hythe (10-0) and Downton (5-1) have already beaten them this season.

Turnbull’s side had yet to meet Pewsey, with last month’s scheduled trip to Wiltshire called off due to bad weather.

‘Pewsey pulling out has done us a favour,’ the boss said. ‘It was only us and Bemerton out of the top six who hadn’t played them.’

Keeper Tom Price is still working away this weekend so Max Flintoff keeps his place in goal, and Louis Castles is available again.