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Postponements look set to continue for DPL clubs
IT is now three weeks since there was any action in the Premier League and sadly for the likes of Portland United boss Chris Wilson and Bridport Reserves manager Robin Townsend the agony looks set to continue tomorrow.
The two men’s teams are due to meet on the island (2pm) but with parts of the Grove Road surface under a couple of inches of water it is unlikely the pitch has any chance of passing an inspection.
The same goes for Weymouth Reserves’ home encounter against Wareham Rangers and Chickerell United’s visit to Parley Sports with an end to the bad weather not yet in sight.
If by some miracle leaders Portland do get the green light for their tussle with Bridport it will be a chance for the visitors to make amends for a 5-0 drubbing by the islanders earlier in the season.
“They are second in the league and we will go up there and show them the respect they deserve,” said Townsend.
“But we won’t be daunted by the task in front of us.
“They are a very good side that is playing with a lot of confidence so we need to make sure we’re up for it.
“Hopefully it will be a good game but we just want it to be on more than anything else.”
Gary Bulman and Jamie Morgan are both suspended for the Bees while Adam Steele is unavailable.
Jordan Vincent is Portland’s only long-term injury absentee but Wilson has Richard Marshallsay and Ryan McKechnie back from duty with the Marines.
Scott Henley is still waiting to serve the last of his three-match ban and although Jimmy Dailey aggravated a long-standing knee injury in training this week he should be involved.
“Through September to December we were absolutely flying and right in the groove but the weather has started to mess everything up,” said Wilson.
“It’s disappointing because every player wants to play and there’s only so much you can do in training. It’s down to me to keep them motivated but they are a good bunch of players.
“Bridport are in good form and are a much-improved side from the team we beat 5-0 so it won’t be that straight-forward this time.”
Weymouth co-manager Jake Richmond cannot see the Bob Lucas Stadium being able to host his team’s match tomorrow and says it would be “madness” if the league didn’t extend the season by two weeks to cope with the fixture backlog.
“It’s not looking good for tomorrow but stranger things have happened,” he said. “We are desperate for it to be on.
“I’ve told the league we are happy to play as many games as we need to in order to get all our fixtures played.
“We’re happy to play twice a week and I’d be surprised if the league didn’t extend the season by a fortnight. It would be madness if they didn’t.”
Richmond has five players suspended, including two keepers, with Mark Cottingham, whose last appearance saw him save a penalty in a 3-0 win over Wareham, filling in.
Liam Miles, Dan Welch, Nick Etherington and Liam Beades are all missing for Chickerell so it’s a weakened squad that Maurice Welch takes to Parley Sports.
Despite the weather, Welch feels it’s important for him and his players to keep on their toes.
“You’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse and when you do get a game you’ve got to be ready,” he said. “But I don’t think I’ve known it as bad as this, either as a player or manager.”