BASINGSTOKE RFC head coach Gareth Hatherley-Hurford set his side the task of finishing in the top four in London Three South West this season.

So far all is going to plan, as Stoke are fourth at the moment despite losing to leaders Eastleigh in their last outing.

The Basingstoke side will hope to cement their position in the top four with victory in their final home game of the year, against US Portsmouth on Saturday.

The Pompey side are tenth in the table, but Hatherley-Hurford is taking nothing for granted and said: “We respect every team we play and we have to execute out on the field to win. Of course it would be nice to win the last home game of 2016 in front of our own fans and that will be our aim.”

After successive relegations, this season Stoke have won six times in 10 outings and Hatherley-Hurford felt there was plenty of positives to come out of the last game which was a 31-3 loss to leaders Eastleigh.

The head coach said: “When I look back on that game we played as well as we could. I could not fault the guys. We suffered some early injuries so we were up against it, but after 70 minutes the score was 10-3.

“This proves how far we have come as a club, to match the top sides in our league for so long. We are building a solid platform and I said to the lads at the start of the season I was looking for a top four finish."

He added: “At the moment we are in a good position to achieve this, but we still have half a season to play and a lot of things can derail us from making it.

“However, we look forward to the game against Portsmouth and the chance to bounce back to winning ways.”

l Elsewhere this Saturday, there is another Hampshire derby at Overton, where they take on Kingsclere in Hampshire Two.

Tadley have no game, while Aldermaston are at home to Berkshire Shire Hall in the Berks Bucks and Oxon Championship.

Chineham entertain Petersfield in Hampshire One.