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FOOTBALL: Bailey expects a battle for Portland at Rec
TWO of the Dorset Premier League’s big guns clash at Magna Road tomorrow with Portland United looking to pile on the agony for rivals Hamworthy Recreation (3pm).
Despite sitting just three points behind Gary Bailey’s leaders at the top of the table, Hamworthy are on a run of three successive defeats following losses to Ware-ham, Parley and Merley Cobham Sports.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Portland have only lost once this season and have scored 11 goals in their last two fixtures in league and cup.
Strikers Joe Toghill and Ed Bastick missed the 5-3 victory over Parley in the Dorset Senior Cup but both should return tomorrow.
But after picking up a groin strain in that win, Ben Doidge remains a doubt.
And no matter how indifferent Hamworthy’s current form is, Blues’ boss Bailey won’t let his players take things for granted.
“They are up there in the league but slipped up again last Saturday at Wareham and the two games before that,” he said.
“But we know it’s a tricky place to go and it’s always a battle against them, especially on their pitch.
“They enjoy playing at home and not many sides come away from there with much.
“But we go there full of confidence after some good results recently.”
Weymouth Reserves will look to extend their five-game unbeaten run at Hamworthy United Res-erves.
The Terras, who won 6-0 at home to Cranborne last Saturday, currently sit third, just one point adrift of Portland, having played a game more.
Weymouth boss Jake Richmond said: “The aim is to keep pushing on and keep improving.
“Aston Butcher is now banned for three games, which is a shame as he has been playing well alongside Adam Anstey, and we will also be without Aidan Jackson, Jack Brown and Jordan Tewkesbury, who have all been called up by the county.
“Matt Cafer and Michael Walker will come down from the first-team squad while Charlie Holland is back with us after returning from a loan spell with Hamworthy. Lloyd Beals is still away at university.”
Matt Harvey played 30 minutes for the DPL representative side that won 5-0 against the Wiltshire League earlier this week.
Richmond added: “It is great to see our lads getting the recognition they deserve.
“Matt has done really well but he is not the only one.
“We have several talented, young lads and I would never hold any of them back from representative games or county matches because they are another important part of their ongoing development.”
Finally, Bridport Reserves entertain Parley Sports at St Mary’s Field.
The Bess have endured an inconsistent start to the season and are in desperate need of some points as they look to keep pace in the top half of the table.
Bridport manager Robin Town-send said: “We are playing some good football in spells and just need to believe in ourselves a little more. The sooner we go on a little run the better.”
n In the Dorset Senior League, Portland United Reserves will try for a third straight win when they host local rivals Upwey & Broad-wey at Grove Corner (3pm).
Upwey edged out Blandford United Reserves last weekend and lie seventh in the table, one point and two places below the islan-ders
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