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DPL Previews: Wilson wants a rapid reponse
CHRIS Wilson is expecting a response from his table-toppers tomorrow when they entertain Shaftesbury in the Magna Dorset Premier League (2pm).
The Portland United boss watched his men throw away a three-goal lead in a shock draw at Wareham Rangers last Saturday but he is confident that will spur them on this weekend.
Wilson told Echosport: “We went up there and turned them over earlier in the season so they will be coming down here looking for something.
“However, the lads have been fantastic since I came in here and they are an honest bunch too.
“I don’t need to tell them where things went wrong last weekend because they know already and I trust them enough to go out and put things right tomorrow.”
Scott Henley will miss the game through suspension while Ross Carmichael is unavailable and Jordan Vincent is sidelined through injury. One man that could return is Jimmy Dailey, who has been recovering from a back problem.
Wilson will also be hoping that Bridport Reserves can do them a favour at St Mary’s Field against Holt United (2pm), who now sit level on points with the league leaders, albeit having played two games more.
The Bees saw their nine-game unbeaten run in the division come to an end at Merley Cobham Sports last weekend but boss Robin Townsend is backing his side to bounce back.
He said: “Holt are a strong side but there is no reason why we cannot beat them and go on another run again.
“They beat us 3-2 earlier in the season and to be honest that scoreline flattered us a bit. However, we are a very different side now and I am confident I will get a reaction following last weekend.”
Not only are the Chickens unbeaten in five but they also sit level on points with third-placed Hamworthy Recreation and have their eyes firmly set on a top-four finish.
Chickerell boss Maurice Welch said: “None of these games are easy and the fact Merley beat Bridport 3-1 last Saturday proves just that.
“However, we have got a run of games now where we really feel we could pick up some points and put some pressure on those around us, so hopefully we can do exactly that.
“Jamie Sibley, Tom Peck and Stewart Walbridge have all gone back to university and Dan Welch is not around this weekend so there are going to be a few changes again, but I am sure the ones that come in will make the most of their opportunities.”
Finally, Weymouth Reserves will be missing several key players for tomorrow’s revenge mission against Blandford United at the Bob Lucas Stadium (2pm).
Jamie Perry, Chris Povall, Liam Greatrex, Louis Smith and Adam Frame are all suspended for the meeting with the Royals, who beat the Terras 5-0 earlier in the campaign.
Weymouth joint-boss Jake Richmond said: “We have got a few suspended and Matt Harvey is on county duty but we still shouldn’t have a problem fielding a team for what is a big game.
“We produced our worst performance of the season at their place earlier in the campaign and I am expecting a response even though that game was a couple of months ago.”
With Perry and Povall both suspended, the gloves will be handed to veteran stopper Mark Cottingham.