Fareham & Crofton aiming to leapfrog Portsmouth & Southsea and edge closer to survival
James Heiniger believes Fareham & Crofton will avoid Southern League division three relegation if they maintain their current form.
The Bath Lane outfit travel to fellow strugglers Portsmouth & Southsea at St James’s Hospital on Saturday.
Both teams are fighting for their lives after a disappointing first half of the campaign.
However, Heiniger is confident Fareham can turn the tables on their hosts – who beat them on the first day of the season.
The first meeting was a low-scoring affair which Portsmouth & Southsea won by 33 runs.
But Heiniger is encouraged by the visitors’ recent performances, having put up a fight in their 35-run defeat to leaders Bashley (Rydal) II last week.
The Fareham vice-skipper said: ‘Both teams need a win and it is a very important game for both teams.
‘We have picked up in the past couple of weeks.
‘Although we lost at leaders Bashley (Rydal) we played well and were only 35 runs short at the end.
‘It carried on the momentum gained from beating Tichborne Park.
‘Our batting has improved and it is good to be batting our full 50 overs and making scores of 200-plus.
‘At Bashley, we did this against a quality bowling side.
‘It has been a team effort with a number of individuals chipping in and not having to rely on one person going big.
‘We have avoided batting collapses and allowed the lower order the freedom to attack in the last 15 overs.
‘If we continue playing like we have been then we will be a hard side to beat.
‘It is important that we start the second half of the season well.
‘We don't want to be having to win games in the final weeks to stay alive.
‘When Portsmouth & Southsea beat us earlier on we were a bit understrength. It was still a game we felt was winnable.
‘Beating teams around you in the league is of double value. A win should take us above our opponents.’
Portsmouth & Southsea will also be in confident mood after getting back to winning ways against Purbrook.
Matt Benfield put in a match-winning performance and the home side will be hoping for the same again from him.