DPL Previews: Chickens expect backlash against table toppers

WELCOME RETURN: Nick Etherington is back in Chickerell’s squad against Holt

WELCOME RETURN: Nick Etherington is back in Chickerell’s squad against Holt

First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

CHICKERELL United will have to be at their best to stop Holt United reaping revenge at Cranford Avenue tomorrow (2pm).

The Chickens knocked the table-topping Bulls out of the Dorset Senior Cup earlier this season and boss Maurice Welch is fully expecting a backlash.

He told Echosport: “We beat them 4-2 that day but they have gone on to get some good results since then and the fact they are top of the league at the moment speaks for itself.

“Hopefully, we can be the ones to knock them off but it certainly won’t be easy.”

The Chickens, who sit sixth in the Magna Dorset Premier League, are hoping to welcome back Aston Butcher, Nick Etherington and Josh Tennant.

Fellow high-fliers Portland United will host struggling Sherborne Town Reserves at Grove Corner (2pm).

The Blues currently sit four points off the top in third spot with games in hand.

Boss Chris Wilson said: “There is certainly still room for improvements after last weekend’s performance at Hamworthy Recreation and the lads know that. However, they still came away with a point and we will take the positives from that.

“We will go into tomorrow’s match expecting to win but as I keep saying we will just play it as it comes.

“Lewis Whyton is available again but Scott Henley has not recovered from his hamstring injury and Andy Harris and Ashley Weeks are unavailable.

“Ian Bickerstaff also has a slight knock and Adam Linaker is carrying a bit of a hamstring problem too, so we will just have to see how things are and make our decision from there.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we have a strong 18-man squad and we are going to need every one of them throughout the course of the campaign.”

Weymouth Reserves’ joint boss Jake Richmond will be looking for more of the same and a little bit more at Parley Sports (2pm).

He said: “Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Shaftesbury was not the best of results but it is all about development for us and as long as the boys keep taking things on board I will be happy. We actually played pretty well in that game and if we can do the same tomorrow and be a bit more clinical in front of goal we will be fine.”

Bridport Reserves will travel to Hamworthy Recreation (2pm) looking to increase their unbeaten league run to eight games.

Boss Robin Townsend will miss the clash due to a wedding so Steve Crabb and Mark Lock will take the reins.

Townsend said: “Hamworthy Rec are a good side and they up there in the league.

“However, our away form has been decent of late so we will go there full of confidence.

“We have not lost for a while and it would be great to keep that run going.”

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