Hambledon keen to make statement of intent in clash of form sides

Hambledon's Alex Willoughby and skipper Spencer Le-Clercq. Picture: Vernon Nash (110519- 07)
Hambledon's Alex Willoughby and skipper Spencer Le-Clercq. Picture: Vernon Nash (110519- 07)
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Hambledon are keen to show they too good for Southern League division three when they host Fawley in a battle of the two form teams at Ridgemeadow on Saturday.

The hosts are chasing a sixth-straight league win and the visitors have won their past three games.

Dons captain Spencer Le-Clercq has warned his players to maintain focus.

The strength in depth this season has been key to their winning run.

He said: ‘With all the players we have had missing it is crazy we are in a promotion-chasing position.

‘Having done this we have to keep concentrating to make sure we push on from here.

‘I believe our team is too good to be in this division.

‘We spent a number of seasons in division one and division two before getting relegated.

‘That happened because that season we lacked any real depth.

‘Now we have got a lot of good young players coming through to add to the experience we have in the team.

‘We have the basis of a team that can go up and do well.’

Alex Willoughby returns to the side to play alongside his younger brother Ollie.

Both have already contributed good scores this season and are thriving on family competition between them.

Le-Clercq believes this is good for the team.

He said: ‘This is Ollie’s first season in the senior side and he has not looked out of his depth.

‘He has a very mature head on his shoulders for a 16-year-old.

‘Alex came back to us from Burridge and has now adapted to playing in division three.

‘We have got a lot of good youngsters like Will Hardman, Rory Morris and Henry Glanfield in the squad.

‘It gives us a good blend alongside the experienced players such as Will Bond, George Marshall, Ian Turner and Rhidian Chapman.

‘We also have a good young overseas player in Luke Barber from Norwood in Melbourne.’

Also in division three Portsmouth & Southsea are aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time this summer when they visit Trojans.

Purbrook will need to be at their best against unbeaten league-leaders Bashley (Rydal) II at The Heath.

Struggling Fareham & Crofton entertain Tichborne Park at Bath Lane.