More to come as confident Portsmouth gear up for important challenges ahead

Portsmouth's Jack Marston is back to lead the side on Saturday. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (010619-3)
Portsmouth's Jack Marston is back to lead the side on Saturday. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (010619-3)
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Jack Marston returns for Portsmouth’s tricky Southern League division one game at Sparsholt on Saturday.

The captain is back from holiday but his brother Andrew is away in Mexico.

Sparsholt are immediately below Portsmouth in third place and the visitors are expecting a difficult challenge from their hosts.

The visitors are in good form, however, and are looking for their sixth-straight win in the league.

Their confidence was also boosted recently by their T20 win against premier outfit South Wilts.

Stand-in captain Fraser Hay was pleased to lead the side to a win in Marston’s absence.

Now he’s hoping they can keep the form going.

He said: ‘The next two games are massive for us.

‘In the past couple of weeks we have won comfortably but we are expecting the next fortnight to prove a lot tougher.

‘Sparsholt got bowled out cheaply last week but before that they posted some big totals.

‘They will be keen to bounce back to winning ways.

‘We have been getting results without yet fielding our strongest teams.

‘These have come without us playing at our best which is encouraging.

‘We feel there is still more to come.’

The visitors are also without Sam Collings-Wells who is unavailable.

Teenager Tom Wallis, who has scored a couple of centuries in the second team, gets his chance in the senior side.

In division two Waterlooville are keen to start playing again after losing their past two games to the weather.

Vice-captain Jon Hudson knows it will be tough at third-placed Fair Oak.

He said: ‘Since winning our first game we have not played again which is frustrating.

‘Most of the teams have been in the same boat.

‘This is a big game for us and we have beaten them before.

‘Hopefully we can pick up another win as we approach the half-way mark in the season.

‘Our league is pretty packed tight together so there is no panic in our ranks.

‘A couple of wins will propel us up the league and away from trouble.’