Tool­sta­tion Ty­ers can see signs of a brighter fu­ture for his Por­tishead side

Bristol Post - - SPORT - Si­mon PARKINSON post­[email protected]

POR­TISHEAD Town man­ager Alan Ty­ers be­lieves his team have the mak­ings of a true First Di­vi­sion force as he steels them for to­mor­row’s home test with Calne Town (3pm).

While the Bris­tol Road base­ment bat­tlers ap­proach the fix­ture with only four wins from 16 games this sea­son, re­cent show­ings have of­fered hope, not least the 5-1 drub­bing of fal­ter­ing vis­i­tors Wel­ton Rovers in their last out­ing.

“We had a good strong team on show for that one and played re­ally well,” said Ty­ers. “That side we had out would give any­one in our league a com­pet­i­tive game, but therein lies the prob­lem.

“It’s the na­ture of the times we live in that you can’t get ev­ery­one play­ing to­gether every week. If I could get that same line-up out there on a more reg­u­lar ba­sis, we’d turn our sea­son around quickly, I have no doubts about that.”

Among the im­proved re­sults of late, which in­cluded a 3-2 win at Chip­pen­ham Park and a 1-1 Som­er­set Premier Cup draw with league lead­ers Chard Town be­fore bow­ing out on penal­ties, Por­tishead did suf­fer a 4-0 home de­feat by Keynsham Town.

“Keynsham are a pow­er­ful team who caused us a lot of prob­lems up front,” said Ty­ers. “But we cre­ated chances too, and I’d like to think had we had any­thing like a full­strength side out we’d have given them a much closer game.

“Against the top team Chard, we were the bet­ter side by a long way and should have put the tie to bed by half-time. So, for me, the green shoots of a Por­tishead re­cov­ery are pok­ing through and we have still to play some teams in and around us.”

The Bris­tol Road boss has been en­cour­aged by per­for­mances from nine-goal Rob­bie Cox and fel­low mid­fielder Oliver Hen­ery among oth­ers.

“Rob­bie is a box-to-box player who played as cap­tain for my first team at Bris­tol Uni­ver­sity where Oli, who is a sit­ting mid­fielder and very good at it, also played un­der me last year,” said Ty­ers, who will as­sess a re­cur­ring knee com­plaint for in­flu­en­tial right-back Matt Cartwright ahead of the Calne clash.

Old­land Ab­boto­ni­ans’ new boss Jon Toy in­sists there are rea­sons for op­ti­mism too as he, like his Por­tishead coun­ter­part Ty­ers, bat­tles to turn their for­tunes up­side down.

The 16th-placed O’s travel to take on Warmin­ster Town three places above them know­ing vic­tory would haul them level on points with their hosts. Old­land’s 3-1 home de­feat by Chard on Satur­day was fol­lowed by a 7-2 GFA Chal­lenge Tro­phy thir­dround away drub­bing by Bishop’s Cleeve on Tues­day night.

Of the gen­eral pic­ture, Toy ac­cepted: “Things have been tough since I took charge, with seven play­ers de­cid­ing to leave in the first week, which meant hav­ing to re­place them just 24 hours be­fore a game in or­der to field a team.

“My as­sis­tant (Marc Ford) and I have been work­ing hard to bring in lo­cal ta­lent as the squad com­prised a mix of Glouces­ter-based play­ers, and we have brought in a few new lo­cal lads to help bol­ster our squad, in­clud­ing striker Mal­ick Jam­meh, from Shep­ton Mal­let, and cen­tre­half Dale Ri­ley, from Cad­bury Heath.

“We are look­ing at one or two more we can hope­fully bring in over the next cou­ple of weeks, but it’s fair to say re­cent re­sults haven’t gone for us over the last nine games when we have ef­fec­tively fielded dif­fer­ent sides. Now we need to fo­cus on sta­bil­ity, but Marc and I are con­fi­dent we can build with the group we have now and hope­fully push on from this.”

It’s all change at the top, too, at mid-ta­ble Bishop Sut­ton where man­ager David Stone, him­self a one-time player-boss with Old­land be­fore his switch to Lake­view in sum­mer 2017, has de­parted.

The club’s 26-year-old cen­tral mid­fielder Sam Downes has taken up the reins and will or­ches­trate af­fairs for the first time to­mor­row for the trip to Win­can­ton Town. The in­com­ing supremo has per­formed with Sut­ton for the past six sea­sons, and he con­firmed: “The club and Dave parted com­pany on Sun­day. We thank him for his ef­forts but the time had come for a change and as some­one who has been with Bishop Sut­ton for sev­eral years now, I’m hap­pily step­ping in as player-man­ager.”

Cad­bury Heath will strive to get their FA Vase third round en­counter with South West Penin­sula Premier Di­vi­sion vis­i­tors St Austell on again to­mor­row af­ter last week­end’s ea­gerly-an­tic­i­pated meet­ing suf­fered a washout.

The Spring­field hosts can en­ter it in good heart too af­ter see­ing off Ash­ton & Back­well United 3-0 with goals by Matt Hux­ley (2) and Ge­orge Boon to reach the last eight of the Les Phillips League Cup on their Tues­day night trav­els.

“We looked a bit rusty and the score­line flat­tered us a bit, but the main thing is we got in a good and im­por­tant work­out as we’d not played for a fort­night,” said man­ager Andy Black.

Heath’s Tool­sta­tion top-flight com­pa­tri­ots Cribbs also hope their Vase away-day with Sal­tash United gets the green light this time fol­low­ing last Satur­day’s post­pone­ment.

Hen­grove Ath­letic man­ager John Durbin took pos­i­tives from his team’s 4-0 mid­week home de­feat by We­ston-su­per-Mare in the Som­er­set Premier Cup, but main­tained: “There can be no ex­cuses now.”

His se­cond-bot­tom side en­ter­tain Chipping Sodbury Town in the Premier Di­vi­sion to­mor­row look­ing to add to their two league vic­to­ries.

“We gave a de­cent ac­count of our­selves against We­ston and held our own well for the first hour, so 4-0 looked worse than it was,” said Durbin. “We needed a pos­i­tive re­ac­tion af­ter Satur­day’s 3-0 de­feat by Cleve­don, af­ter which we had an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion with an hon­est group of play­ers about where we could im­prove.”

Ac­tion from Por­tishead’s game at Wells City (blue shirts) this sea­son

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