BLANDFORD United boss Jamie Haylock has demanded his Royals squad prove themselves ahead of their clash with Dorchester Sports at Blandford Rec tomorrow (3pm).
Haylock’s men backed up their stunning 9-1 opening day win over Portland United Reserves with a 2-1 loss to Sherborne Town Reserves.
Haylock wants to see a rapid response against Sports.
He told Echosport: “I said to the boys ‘it’s the same team against Portland and Sherborne. You’ve got a game to prove yourselves if you still want to be involved with the side’.
“We’ve got players who are chomping at the bit to get in and rightly so – unquestionably after Saturday’s performance (against Sherborne).
“I’m looking for a response from the players, definitely.”
Centre-half Tom Oliver (ankle) is out for two weeks, while vice-captain Rob Manson and winger Jack Jones are unavailable.
For Sports, manager Ashley James expects a hard-fought game at a notoriously difficult away venue.
“It’s probably one of the trickiest away games of the season,” he said. “We know we’re going to be in for a real battle.
“We’ll have to be at our best to get something out of there. We took a strong team there last year and got beaten 2-0, but we’re in confident mood.
“The opening games are always going to throw in a few different results. I think it will be an even game with two teams looking to be up there at the end of the season.
“Whoever takes their chances will probably end up winning.”
James reported no fresh injuries, although defender Ash Smith is unavailable.
Meanwhile, Balti Sports host Bridport Reserves (3pm) off the back of a 2-1 loss to perennial high-fliers Westland Sports last time out.
After the young Bees staged a dramatic late turnaround from 2-1 down to beat Balti 3-2 just before lockdown, Balti are out for revenge.
Balti gaffer Marco Nott said: “We kind of owe them, really.
“The last home game before lockdown we were 2-1 up in the dying stages and ended up losing.
“We need to get back and get the three points. It would be nice to try and get one back over them. It got away from us last time, it was shocking.
“To be fair, Bridport played well and deserved the win but we want to try and get revenge (tomorrow). It’s going to be a tough game.”
Strikers Ricky Lane and Sanchez Baker, midfielders Ryan Dovell and Sean Zima plus defender Lloyd Beals all return. Liam Taylor and Sammy Nichols are suspended.
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