PORTLAND United boss Brendon King believes the Blues will rise to the occasion for their meeting with Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division leaders Alresford Town tomorrow (3pm).

King’s men welcome the Magpies to the Weyline Stadium with a 12-point deficit between the sides, Portland occupying fifth.

Portland often raise their game against top opposition – proof of that coming in the 1-0 FA Cup second qualifying round loss to Salisbury earlier this season.

And King believes his players will again up their level as they look to close the gap to the league leaders.

He told Echosport: “It’s a game you’ve got to look forward to. You’re playing a team that’s top of the league, that’s looking to win the league.

“Some of the players they’ve signed, they’ve got some real experience. It’s going to be a tough old game but we play better against the better sides.

“Our lads stand up and be counted and they’re going to have to be (tomorrow). The good thing is it’s at home which means it will be played on a decent surface.”

He added: “Every time we’ve played sides that are up near the top, we’ve got something out of it.

“When we played Salisbury we were unlucky and the lads know they’ve got to be on their mettle to get something out of these games.”

King could make a new midfield signing but Ryan McKechnie (shin) and Sam Buckler (groin) remain out. Jamie Beasley is unavailable.