US Portsmouth forced into goalkeeping change for longest trip of Wessex League season
US Portsmouth are forced into a goalkeeping change for their longest away Wessex Premier trip of the season.
Damien Kelsall is unavailable for the 174-mile round trek to Portland United - USP’s second long road trip after last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing at Hamworthy United.
Lewis Broughton, who broke his nose on his USP debut in the Wessex opener at Alton last month, has subsequently signed for Pagham.
US have signed ex-Moneyfields youngster Dylan Kramer, while reserve keeper James Hedley - who played in the 3-3 Wessex League Cup draw with Bournemouth Poppies recently - is another possible alternative for Portland.
US boss Tom Grice welcomes back two members of last season’s FA Vase semi-final squad as his squad bid to complete a double, having beaten the Dorset club 1-0 last month on Portsea Island thanks to a goal from top scorer Joe Johnson.
Captain Tom Jeffes missed the Hamworthy loss through family commitments, while right wing-back Chandler - who left US after the FA Cup loss at Alton - has now returned.
Portland have conceded four goals in each of their last four games - league losses to Baffins and Bournemouth Poppies plus cup setbacks against lower division Romsey (Wessex League Cup) and Stoneham (FA Vase).
‘This is a bit of a six-pointer,’ said Grice.
‘We will be wary of them - we don’t know whether the squad they brought to us is a true reflection of what they’ve got due to the long trip.
‘They were susceptible to pace at the back.’
USP host Baffins Milton Rovers next Tuesday in the first of their 10 mainland PO postcode Wessex Premier derbies in 2021/22.