MARTIN Miller believes fine margins have prevented Bournemouth hitting the Division One summit this season, but the captain accepts his side need to find top gear if they are to avoid a flat finish to 2014.

As new boys in the Southern Premier League’s second tier following relegation last year, Bournemouth have experienced a mixed campaign and currently sit in lower mid-table.

However, ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Liphook & Ripsley (1pm), Miller insists the Chapel Gate outfit could be so much better off.

He told the Daily Echo: “It may sound very strange, but we could actually be top of the league if things had gone differently.

“I know every captain could say that, but we’ve been in absolutely every game we’ve played.

“We have competed with the top three but equally we’ve been beaten by the sides around us, so we have to make sure we keep playing good cricket until the end of the season.

“We’re playing the teams that are around us in the table at the moment and the finish of our season is against all the teams at the top. We’ve got work to do over the next couple of weeks to make sure we’re not looking over our shoulder.”

Bournemouth: (from) Bridgen, Hayward, Kitson, Miller, Schmulian, Hurley, Matthews, A Singh, Jones, Watton, Russell.

Elsewhere in Division One tomorrow, leaders New Milton travel to Hursley Park (1pm) while in the Premier Division, Lymington go in search of points at Burridge (11.30am).

Ahead of Bashley Rydal’s home Premier Division encounter with lowly Alton (11.30am), the hosts’ skipper Richard Morris has underlined the importance of picking up bonus points in the team’s remaining seven league fixtures.

He said: “We would like to turn our performances into more points, which means being more savvy and more tactically astute in our game management.

“But that’s something that will come in the next year or two when people get more experience of playing in the league.

“When you look at the teams that have got a really good track record in recent times, such as South Wilts and Havant, they seem to pick up more bonus points than anyone else.

“I think there’s probably a lesson to be learned there and it’s one we could do with learning quite quickly.”

Bashley: (from) R Morris, Porter, Baker, J Morris, Morgan, Ridley, Friedman, Thomson, R Grierson, Lilley, Nash.