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Harding is forced to make changes
PAUL Harding will be forced to shuffle his pack tomorrow when Weymouth host Wootton Bassett at Monmouth Avenue (2.30pm).
The Seasiders’ head coach is expecting to be without the services of Harry Charles, Sam Morris and Gareth Iles but could welcome back both Tom Smethurst and Max Vallance.
Weymouth suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of joint-leaders Trowbridge last weekend and Harding is desperate for his side to build on that performance as they continue to adapt to life in Southern Counties South.
He told Echosport: “We have been improving every week but Wootton Bassett are just above us in mid-table and it promises to be another tough game as they are quite a strong side.
“I will be missing three or four but the likes of Tom and Max should return so hopefully we will have a strong side.
“Losing Sam this week is a bit of a blow because he had a stormer against Trowbridge, and Harry and Gareth will be big misses too, but I am sure the lads will put in a good performance in their absence.
“We are not a bad side at the moment and if we can stay in this league and keep building on the experience then the future will be bright.”
Meanwhile, Dorchester will be buoyed by their 31-12 victory at Frome last week in Southern Counties South.
Martin Oxland’s men earned back-to-back wins in Somerset and will look to kick on when they entertain struggling Oakmeadians tomorrow (2.30pm).
Bridport will look to bounce back at home to Wimborne Seconds in Dorset & Wilts One South (2.30pm) following last weekend’s humbling at the hands of Ivel Barbarians.
The Blues went down 52-7 in the top-of-the-table clash in Somerset, which chalked up their first defeat of the season.
However, there were extenuating circumstances and skipper Ricky Stubbs is crossing his fingers the same problems do not affect his side again this weekend.
He said: “Last week was a bad one. There was a lot of flu in the camp and with the injuries we had it stretched us to the limit.
“We also picked up two more injuries in the game, including one to myself, but we have got a few of the university lads back this week and with a couple of other lads returning we should hopefully be okay.
“Our injury list is pretty bad at the moment and we could do with no more.”
At Greenfields, Puddletown are holding their annual vice-presidents and old boys’ day, with a buffet lunch being served from 1pm ahead of the Dorset & Wilts Two South clash with New Milton Seconds (2.30pm).
The newly-promoted Hampshire side currently head the table, but the Villagers, on the back of three straight league wins of their own and just four points behind, will be confident that they can put an end to the visitors’ unbeaten run.
Josh Hiscock, Jez Michael-Beale, and Marcus House are all set to return to the Puddetown squad.
Meanwhile, Swanage & Wareham entertain Bracknell in South West One East (2.30pm).