MANAGER Graham Kemp warned Hamworthy United to beware of the backlash from Adie Arnold’s resignation and admitted it would be strange facing Verwood Town without his old friend.
Arnold quit the Potterne Park club following Saturday’s 3-0 win at Downton with coach Danny Saxby taking charge of tomorrow’s trip to the County Ground on a one-off basis (7.45pm).
And Kemp, whose final match in charge of Winchester City was a 1-0 defeat at Arnold’s Verwood in October, paid tribute to his former adversary before claiming the change in the dugout could alter the complexion of the derby clash.
Kemp, pictured, told the Daily Echo: “Playing Verwood without Adie around will be surreal and I’m still not too sure whether it will be good or bad for us.
"It will either galvanise their players or completely knock the stuffing out of them and there’s no way of knowing until the game starts.
“Danny (Saxby) is a real old school character and if anyone can get their players wound up to win it for Adie it will be him. No team he works with are ever likely to roll over that’s for sure.
“It was a shame to see Adie go and he will be a loss to the Wessex League but I can understand his decision. It was the same for me at Christchurch, you can only inspire David to slay Goliath so many times.”
Meanwhile, Kemp revealed he had served Verwood with a seven-day approach for striker Jack Lovell.
“I am a long-time admirer of Jack,” said Kemp. “He has grown in stature and would definitely improve our team. Hopefully, we’ve made our move at the right time.”
Elsewhere in the Wessex League Premier Division, Bournemouth Poppies host title-favourites Sholing, while Christchurch face a basement battle at Totton & Eling.
In the Southern League Premier Division, Carl Pettefer (groin) is likely to miss Poole Town’s trip to Biggleswade Town, while Bashley host Hungerford Town.
Rookie duo Dan Burton-Hemmings and Jamie Grose remain in contention as injury-hit Wimborne Town host play-off chasing Yate Town in Southern South & West (all 7.45pm).