PORTLAND United can go second in the Dorset Premier League tonight with a win at Swanage Town & Herston (7.30pm), but they will have to do it without top scorer Lewis Clarke.

The striker suffered a hamstring strain during his side’s DPL League Cup semi-final triumph at Mere Town last Saturday and misses the trip to Days Park.

Defender Dan Newnham is also ruled out with an injured ankle, also picked up against Mere, but Sam Clarke and Sanchez Jansz-Baker are available.

Ross Carmichael, who was forced off in the first half of last weekend’s cup victory with breathing problems, is fit to travel.

A win for Gary Bailey’s Blues, the defending league champions, would see them move to within a point of leaders Weymouth Reserves with four games in hand.

However, the islanders will need to be wary of their hosts, who scored three unanswered second-half goals at Grove Corner last October to win the reverse fixture 5-2.

“We go there expecting a tough test,” said boss Bailey. “Swanage is never an easy place to go to, and they beat us at our place. We’ve put Saturday’s game behind us and with the cup final not until April 30 it is back to league business.

“The difficult thing from our point of view now is injuries because they haven’t got enough time to heal between games.

“If we weren’t playing again until Saturday I would be more confident of having players back, so we’re taking it game-by-game.”