US Portsmouth go in search of Wessex League Cup shock

Liam Kyle, right, in action for Moneyfields in 2016
Liam Kyle, right, in action for Moneyfields in 2016
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Ambitious United Services Portsmouth are looking forward to taking on Wessex Premier League table-toppers Alresford in the Wessex League Cup (7.45pm).

The Sailors are also keen to cause an upset following a disappointing 2-1 reverse at Alton Town in the league at the weekend - only their second Wessex setback of the season.

Manager Glen Turnbull believes his young side can use that defeat to spur them on.

'Losing at Alton was hard to take, particularly after leading 1-0 (through a James Franklyn goal) with just a couple of minutes to play,' he said.

'Though we hadn't played well enough to win, I felt we were going to snatch it.

'Then we conceded two goals from set-pieces.

'It was disappointing because I felt we deserved to get something.

'We have played worse and won this season.

'The players want to get back out as quickly as possible to make up for it

'They are all determined to dust themselves down ready to go again.

'We know it is going to be tough because Alresford are top of the Wessex Premier and flying.'

US will miss central defender John Cass who is away working, but Harry Birmingham and Liam Kyle - who has been injured since pre-season - could be included in the squad.

In addition, Moneyfields striker George Root, who is now dual signed, is also in contention after making his debut at Alton.

Turnbull is pleased with the progress being made by his team and is optimistic they can win promotion to the Premier for the first time since the reformed club - previously Portsmouth Royal Navy - re-entered the Wessex in 2004.

Services are currently third in Division 1 with good foundations being put in place.

'With the league restructuring I believe four teams will be promoted at the end of the season.' he said. ‘Hopefully we can be one of them.

'The team have finished fifth in the last two seasons and we are aiming to improve on that.

'It is all very competitive with seven or eight teams realistically in contention.'

Alresford are eight points clear at the top of the Wessex Premier after beating Solent Uni 6-2 last weekend - their 11th win in 13 matches.

Former Gosport Borough pair Mike Gosney and Craig McAllister were among the scorers for the club which won the Wessex League Cup in 2013 and 2014.

In the first year Warren Bentley’s double helped them beat Brockenhurst 4-1, and 12 months later he struck a hat-trick in a 7-2 thrashing of Petersfield.

Holders Baffins aim to reach the quarter finals at home to Brockenhurst later this month.

Wessex League Cup 3rd rd: Bournemouth v Lymington (TBA), Tadley v Portland (Jan 25), Baffins v Brockenhurst (Nov 27), Alresford v US Portsmouth (tonight), Christchurch v Hythe (Nov 26), Hamble v Petersfield (Nov 26), Cowes v Totton Eling (Nov 26), Stoneham v Bemerton (Nov 26).

Moneyfields entertain Wessex Division One Fawley in the Russell Cotes Cup at Dover Road (7.45pm), while Petersfield Town are in Hampshire Senior Cup action against Cowes Sports at Westwood Park.