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DPL Previews: Heath wants big finish
STUART Heath has urged his Blues to repay the fans for their loyal support with two victories from their final two outings.
Portland United remain top of the Magna Dorset Premier League but look set to lose out in the race for the title with second-placed West-land Sports and Hamworthy Rec-reation in third both holding four games in hand.
Tomorrow the islanders welcome Swanage Town & Herston to Grove Corner (3pm) before ending their campaign at home to Bridport Reserves next weekend.
And boss Heath is keen to end the season on a high. He said: “The league has probably slipped away from us but I’m proud of what the players have achieved this season.
“We have two games left now and we owe it to the people who pay to come and watch us – week in, week out – to finish the season well.
“I’d also like to see the players play well for each other. It looks like we are going to slightly fall short but it would be good to finish in a decent position and we will only do that if we win our last two games.
“We can’t worry too much about other results, we can only worry about ourselves.
“For the most part we have done really well but since Christmas we have dropped 10 points, which is too much when you’re trying to win the league.
“If it had been four or five then we would have given ourselves a real chance.”
Discussing tomorrow’s opponents, who sit 10th in the table, Heath added: “They have picked up recently and they have got some strong players in their team so it’ll be an interesting game for a number of reasons.
“We have just got to focus on our own performance in these last two games.”
Portland’s previous fixture saw them overcome Weymouth Res-erves on Tuesday night thanks to two penalties from Alex Halloran.
The latter are also in action tomorrow as they entertain Parley Sports (3pm).
Despite entering the Bob Lucas Stadium encounter on the back of three straight defeats, Terras’ joint-manager Jake Richmond has been buoyed by recent displays.
And he believes a bright future awaits his young charges.
Richmond said: “We are not in it to win it, we are here to develop players and I believe the future is bright.
“If we can keep the nucleus of this squad together and add a few more we will do even better.
“There’s no pressure on us to win games, the pressure is to put players through who can get into the first-team squad and then the starting XI.”
The previous meeting between the two sides ended in a 4-1 victory for Parley but Richmond is confident of avoiding a repeat scoreline.
He added: “We went there earlier in the season and it was 0-0 with about 12 minutes to go and then they beat us 4-1 in a crazy finish.
“But we have an embarrassment of riches for tomorrow’s game with about 20 players available. We might change the formation and be a bit more attack-minded.
“We have built some momentum and although results have not always gone for us it’s about performances and on Tuesday we were immensely proud of the lads.”
Charlie Holland and keeper Chris Povall are expected to travel with the first team tomorrow but Luke Winsper should overcome a minor knock.
Bridport Reserves and Chickerell United are without a fixture this weekend but host Swanage Town & Herston and Westland Sports respectively this Tuesday evening.