Horndean and Portchester derby fireworks ahead as teams signal attacking intent

A derby treat is on the cards as Horndean host AFC Portchester at Five Heads Park on Saturday (3pm).

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 3:13 pm
Horndean are looking forward to the derby match with AFC Portchester. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Both teams want a win to stay in the hunt at the top of the Wessex League premier division.

Horndean occupy third spot with AFC Portchester two places and five points below them.

Deans manager Michael Birmingham is expecting a close-fought contest between two attacking teams.

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He said: '˜We will have to make sure that we are at our very best to win this one..

'˜Portchester are a fantastic club run by a top man, Paul Kelly, as chairman.

'˜They are going through a transitional spell at the moment but the team possesses good players.

'˜We all know about the quality of Steve Ramsey.

'˜Knowing their manager Mick Catlin he will have them well organised.

'˜We did well against AFC Bournemouth in midweek when we were very competitive.

'˜Our shape out of possession was excellent along with our work-rate and concentration.

'˜We will have to show the same qualities again.'

Centre forward Mark Smith is available after being away on holiday.

Louis Edwards and Connor Duffin are also expected to return.

The visitors give a debut in defence to new signing, Craig Hardy, from Fareham Town.

Royals manager Mick Catlin is hoping he will make a big difference.

He said: '˜Craig is a no-nonsense experienced defender..

'˜It is something we have been lacking.

'˜This is a big derby and going to Horndean is always a big ask.

'˜We are going there to win the game because if we want to make progress a draw won't be good enough.

'˜You can expect us to try to take the game to them and get on the front foot.

'˜I am sure Horndean will be thinking the same.

'˜That could lead to a good entertaining game.'

The Royals also have striker George Tuson-Firth back from visiting family in Australia.

Baffins Milton Rovers will be keen to put their disappointing FA Vase exit behind them as they host Alresford Town on Saturday at the PMC Stadium (3pm).

Fareham Town travel to Bemerton Heath Harlequins (3pm).

In division one United Services Portsmouth welcome Folland Sports to the Victory Stadium (3pm).

Petersfield Town visit Laverstock & Ford (3pm).