Wessex League: Reds eye up an upset against league leaders

Friday, 24th March 2017, 8:30 am
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 1:18 pm

Boss Pete Stiles accepts the Reds will need to raise their game if they are to get back to winning ways.

His side suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Alresford on Wednesday.

And Stiles is looking for a positive reaction from his side.

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‘It was one of those games when things just didn’t go for us,’ he said.

‘We only gave about 70 per cent and paid for some naive defending.

‘I will probably resist the temptation to ring the changes because I know this team can do it.

‘It could be a question of showing a little bit of patience with them.

‘We need to bounce back to winning ways.’

Stiles hopes to have Jay Ripiner back in contention.

Luke James could also feature on his return from America.

Horndean are also looking to spring a shock at third-placed Blackfield & Langley.

Michael Birmingham’s men are keen to turn the tables on their hosts who won 1-0 at Five Heads Park earlier in the season.

But Birmingham believes his team can go out and play with no pressure on their shoulders.

‘All the pressure will be on them because they are playing catch up at the top,’ said Birmingham.

‘We can go out, play our football and enjoy ourselves.

‘The longer we stay in the game the more the pressure will build on them.’

The visitors are without suspended pair Ash Howes and Ashton Leigh, while Jack Warren has work commitments.

Conor Duffin and Shaun Flooks come back in.

League leaders Moneyfields visit Hamworthy United hoping to make up for their midweek cup disappointment.

The city club were favourites to beat Petersfield in their Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

But Moneys slumped to a shock 4-1 defeat against the Rams – despite leading 1-0 at the break.

Gaffer Dave Carter will be hoping to avoid a similar slip-up in the league.

His side hold a two-point lead at the top but are still waiting to hear if they are going to be deducted three points by the Wessex League.

The Hampshire FA found them guilty of fielding a player while he was under suspension subject to appeal.

In division one, United Services Portsmouth host Laverstock & Ford.