Portsmouth regard Southern League division one battle with Sarisbury as must win

James Christian will bolster Portsmouth's batting line-up to face Sarisbury. Picture: Keith Woodland
James Christian will bolster Portsmouth's batting line-up to face Sarisbury. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Jack Marston is hoping the intensity of their two upcoming Southern League division one derby against Sarisbury Athletic can inspire Portsmouth back to winning ways.

The Clarence Parade outfit host the Allotment Road side on Saturday at St Helen’s – before they do battle in a T20 game the following day. 

Marston wants his second-placed side to bounce back from their four-wicket defeat at Sparsholt where their middle-order batting let them down.

The skipper regards the league contest against Sarisbury as must win.

He said: ‘Losing at Sparsholt was very disappointing and we didn't perform anywhere near our best.

‘We have lost two games now and if we want to stay challenging at the top can't afford to lose many more.

‘We both won once against each other last season. For us it is a game that we really must win.

‘If we are to win we will have to show a lot more steel in our batting.

‘At Sparsholt we suffered another batting collapse after making a steady start.

‘We have packed our side with seven batsmen in the hope that will make a difference.’

The home side bring back in William Smitherman, James Christian and Jordan Palmer-Goddard to bolster their batting.

Portsmouth won't find it easy against opponents who are bursting with confidence after enjoying success in the league and cup last weekend.

They beat Calmore on Saturday and followed that up by beating Burbage & Easton in the National Village Cup.

Their knock-out success has put them within three games of a Lord’s final.

The visitors enjoy the luxury of fielding a full-strength side and are looking forward to coming up against their old rivals.

‘Both clubs have been on the fringes of promotion from division one for a few seasons,' said Sarisbury stalwart Jon Floyd.

‘Portsmouth are a good side and we will be going there to attack them.

‘The contest between our Tom Nightingale and their Fraser Hay will be fascinating.

‘They are two of the most talented cricketers in the league

‘Tom is a very attacking batsmen and has scored a lot of runs. He doesn't hang back and gets us onto the front foot.’