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FOOTBALL: Senior Cup is focus for Portland
PORTLAND United switch their attention to the Dorset Senior Cup tomorrow when they go up against Parley Sports in the first round of this season’s competition (2.30pm).
The Blues may be top of the Dorset Premier League but they know only too well what sort of challenge awaits them having been held to a draw at Parley a fortnight ago.
They return to Christchurch Road this weekend on the back of a 6-1 thrashing of Hamworthy United Reserves while Parley, despite sitting 13th in the league table, are in form too.
Hamworthy Recreation were seen off at Parley Sports Club last Saturday so Portland’s passage into round two is by no means guaranteed.
Hat-trick hero Joe Toghill is not available for the Blues but Ben Doidge is expected to be passed fit while Ed Bastick, Adam Linaker and Sanchez Jansz-Baker could all return.
“We’ve chopped and changed a fair bit this season but hopefully from this week on we should start settling down,” said Portland assistant-manager Derek McKay.
“Since I joined the club about five years ago we have always seemed to struggle against Parley.
“We had a tough battle with them the other week and it’s a tricky tie for us.”
Robin Townsend reckons his side are more than capable of matching anyone in the Dorset Premier League.
The Bees travel to sixth-placed Shaftesbury Town tomorrow (3pm) knowing victory would take them above their opponents.
The Bridport reserve-team boss said: “Everyone is beating everyone in this division at the moment and there is no doubt that when we are on it, we are a match for anyone.
“Shaftesbury is not the easiest place to go but if we can put in a performance similar to the one last weekend against Tintinhull we will stand every chance.”
Also in the league, Weymouth Reserves host Cranborne at the Bob Lucas Stadium (3pm) with boss Jake Richmond keen for his side to deliver a repeat performance following their 1-0 win over Blandford.
Carl McClements came through 75 minutes against Blandford after coming back from a wrist injury as Richmond looks set to go with a largely unchanged squad.
Sam Frost might be back and Lloyd Beals could also be in contention.
“I’m looking for exactly the same from the players against Cranborne,” said Richmond. “I want us to be hard to beat and resolute.
“It’s a squad game and all the lads will get a chance.
“If I’ve had three substitutes I’ve used them.
“Paul Ford came on last Saturday and scored and that’s given him the confidence to push for a starting place.”
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