FOOTBALL: Portland's title ambitions won't be sunk by weather - Bailey

DETERMINED: Portland boss Gary Bailey

DETERMINED: Portland boss Gary Bailey

First published in Sport by

GARY Bailey is determined not to let the weather blow Portland’s title hopes off course.

Last Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Hamworthy Recreation was the Blues’ first game since December 21, and with wind and rain looming again this weekend, it is clearly proving a very tough time for local managers to keep their players focused.

Postponements inevitably lead to frustration but Bailey was pleased with his side’s reaction against Rec and is looking forward to building on that in the weeks ahead.

The Portland boss is scheduled to take his men to seventh-placed Blandford United tomorrow (2pm) and, if it gets the go ahead, he is expecting it to be a very tough game.

Bailey told Echosport: “After having so many games fall to the weather, it was a relief for everyone just to get a game in last weekend.

“As expected, we were a little rusty, which led us to be a bit sloppy with our passing at times, and not as clinical in front of goal as we would have liked to have been, so I will be looking for an imp-rovement in those areas at Blandford.

“Having said that, I was pleased with the amount of chances we created and could not have been happier with the attitude we showed, especially in such difficult conditions in the second half, so I will be looking for us to continue that this weekend.

“Blandford can be a tricky place to go, so we know we will need to be fully focused on getting the job done, and it’s important we get a positive result to back up the hard-earned point from last weekend. We need a run of games now after so many postponements but, with the weather we have had, I have my doubts.”

Alex Halloran and Ross Car-michael have now completed their suspensions giving Bailey a nice selection headache.

He added: “I am still waiting on the fitness and availability of one or two but I should have good numbers to choose from.”

Portland currently sit second in the Bespoke Dorset Premier League, two points adrift of Wey-mouth Reserves with three games in hand.

The Terras went top after a fantastic 1-0 victory at Merley Cob-ham Sports last Saturday and will be hoping to continue that form against Tintinhull at the Bob Lucas Stadium (2pm).

Weymouth boss Jake Richmond said: “I don’t think it is going to take much for the game to be off but all we can do is prepare as normal in the hope that it is on.

“Conor Jevon and Ryan Park both have slight groin strains but that is probably just through not playing regularly.

“We have still been training five hours a week but there is nothing like playing games.

“Our fitness levels are excellent right now and I think that played a massive part last week.”

Finally, Bridport Reserves will want to get back to winning ways at Parley (2pm).

Robin Townsend was frustrated by the way his side succumbed to Cranborne last time out and he is eager for a much-improved performance this weekend.

He said: “The lads know how poorly they played against Cran-borne. We played okay in the first half but we know we can play a lot better.

“We know we have to be a bit more disciplined and we need to retain the ball a bit better.”

The Bees are set to be without Sean Stewart for four weeks due to a broken wrist.

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