BALTI Sports’ boss Marco Nott has labelled his side’s Dorset Premier League derby with Dorchester Sports at Weymouth College tomorrow (6.30pm, Tuesday) as their “biggest game” for the rest of the season.

Nott’s men had far from ideal preparation for the crunch fixture, losing 3-1 to pacesetters Hamworthy Recreation on Saturday.

Rec took their fourth win in four games through Chris Long’s hat-trick, and were able to take the lead on four minutes when Callum Charlton’s excellent ball set Long through to score.

But the East Dorset side did not have it all their own way, as Oscar Preece bagged a leveller, heading home a left-wing cross to send the teams in 1-1 at half-time.

Hamworthy began the second half as strongly as the first, but failed to notch the goal that their dominance deserved. However, on 58 minutes, Josh Pratt teed up Long at the far post to fire home his and Rec’s second.

Balti plugged away and might have snatched an equaliser but for some inspired defending from the visitors.

However, the league leaders snatched a late third to complete Long’s hat-trick via a header.

Speaking to Echosport following the loss, Nott paid tribute to a team he felt was the best in the division.

He said: “It was quite a positive performance. We only had nine players at one stage but everyone put a real shift in.

“They were dangerous on the counter attack and are by far the best team in the league.”

Commenting on the mouthwatering prospect of a home derby against Dorchester Sports, Nott is aiming to collect “bragging rights” from the encounter.

He said: “It’s a derby and those are the games we always look forward to. It’s always a good battle. Me and Ash (James, Dorchester Sports’ boss) go back quite a long way and we both took on the teams at the same time. There’s a lot of respect there.

“I’m sure they’ll come over to us pretty strongly. The game at their place they should have beaten us. Being at home we’ve got the confidence back and player availability is looking good.

“Hopefully we can put in a good performance. If we can get a win over them it would be great but they’re a good side and they’ve come on this season.

“It’s bragging rights, really. It’s probably our biggest game for the rest of the season.”

He added: “We’ve still got nine games so we’ve got a good chance to put a run together and salvage what has been a terrible season.

“We must be the best team to watch, there’s always goals, but we’ll definitely be going out to attack and I’m sure they will too.”

Balti, who lie in 10th some four places and 13 points behind their arch-rivals, are set to be boosted for the derby by the return of Ethan Devaney, Carl McClements and Josh Houghton from unavailability.


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton

twitter: @EchoSportNeil