RUEFUL boss Keith Whatling believes Hamworthy Rec’s players “have a point to prove to themselves” in tomorrow’s Dorset Premier League Cup final after blowing their shot at championship glory.
Title favourites Portland United’s measly return of two points from three DPL matches left top spot up for grabs but Rec failed to take advantage, following up their 1-1 draw against Tintinhull with 3-2 home defeats against Mere Town and lowly Shaftesbury.
The Blues now seem certain to retain their crown, needing four points from their final three fixtures to guarantee success, but Whatling is determined to deny his former club the double after letting them off the hook.
Whatling, who was assistant manager when Holt United won the League Cup last season, told the Daily Echo: “I was confident Portland would drop points but not as many as they did so that has doubled our frustration.
“I was certain they would slip up somewhere and spoke about the importance of capitalising on that, so we have no complaints.
“We don’t deserve to win it and can only look at ourselves for throwing it away. On paper, we have a better side than the teams we have faced over the past three matches but we just didn’t turn up.
“Some of the lads seemed to hit a bit of a flat spot and now they have a point to prove to themselves.
“Our big players have not performed over the past few games and while we might be underdogs, if we turn up then we have a good chance of winning it.”
Rec will be without top scorer Luke Stone, influential midfielder Max Wilcock and defensive linchpin Rikki Walden for the showpiece which will be played at Weymouth’s Wessex Stadium (7.45pm).
Kane Andrews and Luke Andrews were on the scoresheet for Rec in their 3-2 defeat to visitors Shaftesbury on Saturday.
Wareham Rangers stayed in the top six after their 4-1 victory over visitors Hamworthy United reserves, while Cranborne twice came from behind to secure an impressive 2-2 draw with Mere.
Dan Loader and Nick Day were on the scoresheet for Cranes.
Blandford United succumbed 3- 1 at Sherborne Town reserves but Parley Sports continued their recent revival with a 2-1 win over visitors Tintinhull.
Tobias Holmes grabbed both goals for Sports which included a late winner, while Jacob Bloomfield registered in vain for Tintinhull.