Portland United v Bournemouth Poppies – match preview

FRANKLYN Clarke insists Portland United are a ‘different team’ from their three previous encounters with the Bournemouth Poppies this season.

The Clarke Blues have lost twice and drew once against Poppies – two of those games coming out of the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

The Poppies now head to Camp & Satherley Stadium tomorrow (3pm) for Wessex League Premier League action.

And Clarke is finally hoping to have one near Victoria Park on the fourth request.

He told Echosport: “We know a lot about them and obviously they also know a lot about us. I felt like when we faced them we didn’t have a great team.

“We had always played a good game. We shot at our house and they beat us twice at their house. I think we’re a different side now than we were then.

READ MORE: Cowes Sports 2-2 Portland United – match report

“The way we’ve played lately, I think the least we should have had at Bashley was a point and we took Cowes in the 95th minute.

“The performance levels have been very good. I think if we start again (tomorrow), we will cross the line. I can not wait to see him.

Portland is deprived of midfielder duo Josh Williams (unavailable) and Marcus Smith (suspended).

Of Smith’s five-booking ban on a game, Clarke said, “We’re two players missing, Marcus is suspended which is a big blow and (Williams) is out.

“With Marcus, there is nothing we can do. He picked up a few yolks and that resulted in a ban. No complaints about it really.

With holes to fill in the central midfield, boss Clarke could reintroduce himself into the lineup after missing the last few games.

He added: “We have to look at it and assess it. Ideally, I would like to give someone else a chance.

“We’ll see how we are in terms of fitness. Two big guys are missing, but I have full confidence in the guys who come for those two.

“It’s not a situation we haven’t been in before this season, so we’re just going to crack it.”

Portland Reserves visit Hamworthy Rec in the Dorset Premier League tomorrow (3pm).

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