Portsmouth aim to erase lingering drop fears

Portsmouth are looking to banish any Southern League division one relegation fears by winning at bottom-of-the-table Hartley Wintney on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th July 2018, 11:32 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:09 pm
Portsmouth's Fraser Hay. Picture: Neil Marshall
Portsmouth's Fraser Hay. Picture: Neil Marshall

Since the return of Fraser Hay and Andrew Marston from Australia, the St Helens outfit have picked up two successive wins.

Skipper Jack Marston knows another will propel his side closer to mid-table security.

'˜Getting two of our best players back was always going to make a difference,' he said.

'˜Winning our first two games after their return has been massive for us.

'˜Those results are very reassuring.

'˜Hartley Wintney will probably be relegated but we have to make sure we go there and win.'

Experienced pair Vikram Dawson and Rich Locke return to the Portsmouth side.

The visitors also have Sam Collings-Wells making his debut.

Second-placed Sarisbury Athletic are forced to head for Liphook & Ripsley with a reshuffled side.

Hill brothers, Josh and Sam, along with Andrew Ireland are all unavailable.

'˜I am expecting us to be fully tested,' said Sarisbury captain Ricky Rawlins.

'˜We are going well having won four games on the bounce.

'˜It will be an opportunity for a few players to step up and bring in some fresh blood.

'˜It is a tough league and it's been proved everyone is capable of beating anybody on their day.

'˜We have bonded well as a team, though, and must look to keep the run going.'

Hambledon face the challenging trip to division three leaders Fair Oak.

While they are third in the table, Will Bond's side are still searching for greater consistency.

They proved far too good for Gosport Borough last weekend '“ bowling their hosts out for 87 '“ but Fair Oak will be a different proposition.

Meanwhile, Borough will need to improve their frail batting if they are to upset Purbrook at Privett Park.

Portsmouth & Southsea visit to South Wilts II and Havant II entertain Lymington II at Havant Park.