FOOTBALL: Bailey tells Blues to forget cup win

Dorset Echo: SHOULD BE AVAILABLE: Ed Bastic SHOULD BE AVAILABLE: Ed Bastic

PORTLAND United chief Gary Bailey reckons last weekend’s cup victory over Bridport Reserves “counts for nothing” when the sides clash in the league at St Mary’s Field tomorrow (3pm).

Lewis Clarke’s brace saw the Blues ease into the semi-finals of the DPL League Cup six days ago, and Bailey wants his players to apply themselves in the exact same manner when they return to Bridport this weekend.

Sam Clarke, Ashley Weeks, Ben Doidge and Ed Bastic should all be available for the Blues after missing the cup win, though Bailey is waiting on the fitness of a couple of others who are carrying knocks.

“Last week’s result, however pleasing, counts for nothing going into this week’s game,” said Bailey.

“We are obviously delighted to have reached a semi-final in the cup but the league has always been our main objective and we must approach tomorrow’s game with the same professionalism as we did last week.

“It’s not always ideal playing the same opposition two weeks running as little incidents from the previous week are still fresh in the mind and that can sometimes have a bearing on how players go into the game.

“We will be preparing in our usual way and I am looking for us to build on what was our best collective performance for several weeks.

“Although we edged things last week, we are only too aware of Bridport’s potential threat and will be treating them with the respect that’s due.”

Bees’ boss Robin Townsend, meanwhile, is eager for his men to show a big improvement on their lacklustre display last Saturday.

“Hopefully we will give them a better game on Saturday,” he said. “The lads in this side are good enough at this level.

“I would like to think we will give a better account of ourselves and I’m hoping we cause them a few more problems.”

If other results go their way, a win for Portland would see them reclaim top spot in the league, though current leaders Weymouth Reserves will have a lot to say about that.

They hold a one-point advantage over Merley Cobham Sports and could consolidate first place with victory at home to Mere Town (3pm).

Terras’ manager Jake Richmond has a fully fit squad to pick from as his team look to avenge the 7-2 thrashing by Mere back in October.

“The lads shouldn’t need motivation after a result like that,” he said. “But Mere put eight past Hamworthy United Reserves last weekend so we’ll give them the respect they deserve.”

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