US Portsmouth to make attacking change as they bid to equal club’s best-ever FA Vase run

US Portsmouth have been forced into an attacking change as they bid to equal the club’s best-ever FA Vase run.

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 12:06 pm
Callum Glen on the ball for US Portsmouth during their shock FA Vase win at AFC Portchester. Picture: Martyn White.

Strikers Andrew Todd (Navy commitments) and Tyler Moret (cup tied) are both unavailable for Friday’s first round tie against Bournemouth Poppies at the Victory Stadium (7.45pm).

US had brought the tie forward from Saturday in a bid to involve Todd, who is in the Navy squad for next Monday’s inter-services game against the RAF at HMS Temeraire on Monday.

But they have been unsuccessful in negotiating his release, so George Root, Brodie Spencer and Tom Jeffes are all vying for a forward place alongside Dec Seiden.

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Jeffes could be thrust into the attacking role as centre half Josh Cass is available again after a three-match suspension.

US, from Division 1 of the Wessex League, are aiming to beat Wessex Premier opposition for the seventh time in three months.

They defeated Baffins, Horndean and Cowes in pre-season friendlies and have since dumped Tadley and Brockenhurst out of the Wessex League Cup.

More memorably, they stunned AFC Portchester 2-1 in the second qualifying round of the Vase.

Since forming in 2004, US had only won six Vase ties in 16 seasons, and the furthest they have ever reached is the second round in 2014/15 when they lost at home to Portchester.

Portsmouth Royal Navy - US’ forerunners - fared little better, winning only five Vase ties in 13 seasons. And they were disqualified after one of those wins - a 3-0 success against Bexley Borough in 1985/86 - for fielding two ineligible players!

US are in fine form, having trounced Newport (3-0) and Bemerton (4-1) on their travels in the last week to move up to third in Wessex Division 1.

Boss Glenn Turnbull said: ‘Those two games were the priority for me, this is a free hit really.’

Poppies arrive on the back of a 5-0 caning at Tadley in midweek and Turnbull said: ‘It will go one of two ways - it always does.

‘Either they will be keen to bounce back or their confidence will be low, but we’re certainly full of confidence.’

Having banked £725 for beating Portchester, US will receive another £825 from the prize kitty if they can beat Poppies. If they lose, they will pick up £250.