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Free-scoring Upwey aiming to stay tight at the back
UPWEY & Broadwey may have found the net 22 times in four Dorset Senior League games but it was the clean sheet in their last outing that pleased midfielder Pete Jarvis the most.
Charlie Kenderdine and Charlie May both netted braces and Ethan Devaney got the other in Upwey’s 5-0 thrashing of Piddletrenthide United last weekend as they bounced back from their Senior Trophy loss to Milborne Sports seven days previously.
However, it was only the second time in the league this season that Upwey had prevented the opposition from scoring and that is something Jarvis wants his team-mates to build on, starting on Saturday when they host Gillingham Town Reserves at Redlands (2pm).
It will be tough though, as Gillingham sit second in the table and go into the match after an 8-1 rout of Stourpaine – they also got the better of Upwey 3-2 in September.
Jarvis knows Upwey were not tested by Piddletrenthide but he was pleased with the result and realises Gillingham will provide a much more difficult test on Saturday.
“We were much better last Saturday than we had been in the cup the previous week,” he said. “The management asked for a response after getting dumped out of the trophy and to their credit the players gave us that response.
“I thought we played well at Milborne so it was more of a reaction to the result we were looking for.
“The most pleasing thing to take from it was that we kept a clean sheet. It was only the second time this season we’d managed that and we all know that not keeping clean sheets has cost us crucial points.”
He added: “Piddletrenthide didn’t threaten us a great deal. We were expecting a tougher game but we’re under no illusions that the next three weeks are going to be a much sterner examination.”
Upwey are still without Richard Frost who is waiting to see a doctor about possible cruciate knee ligament damage while Jarvis made a point of praising 18-year-old central defender Frank Budden, who has impressed after joining the club just before Christmas.
There is hope that Lloyd Cranny and Chris Reader could also return to give Portland a timely boost as they look for a first win in nine.
Coward, who may bring in a couple of new faces over the next few weeks, said: “We’ve got a couple of lads back with us for Saturday.
“Lloyd and Ben are two big senior players so it will be great to have them back.
“We’ve struggled a bit this season with players missing and it’s just one of those things but the last couple of months have been a nightmare.
“We’ve had to put youngsters in and while you want them to get experience you need senior players to back them up. When you lose a few games heads go down and you can get a bit despondent.
“The scorelines look as if we are getting hammered but we’ve been in games and could have got something out of them.”
Finally, Weymouth Sports face a huge six-pointer at fellow strugglers Blandford United Reserves (2pm).
Third-bottom Sports, who are currently on a winless run of seven games, sit two points below the Royals and four above the basement.
Joint-boss Chris Hicks said: “We need to beat Blandford on Saturday otherwise we are going to be even more in the mire.
“The problem we have at the moment is that we only seem to put in a performance in one half rather than the full 90 minutes and that needs to change.
“Not enough effort is being put in and until we start performing from the first whistle to the last we are going to continue to find it difficult.”
One ray of hope for Sports has come in the form of new striker Teejay Smith-McFarlane. Hicks went on to add: “We needed someone in that could get us goals and I am sure Teejay can give us that.”
Ben Thomas could return for Sports this Saturday along with Jake Faulkner.