Results 09/02/19 + John Gorman’s review

Premier Division
Bashley  0-3  Alresford Town
Christchurch  0-2  Bournemouth
Cowes Sports  1-1  Andover New Street
Lymington Town  2-2  Hamble Club
Division One
Alton  1-2  Downton
Andover Town  2-1  Folland Sports
East Cowes Vics  1-0  AFC Stoneham
Newport IoW  0-1  Amesbury Town
Ringwood Town  3-1  Fawley AFC
Romsey Town  2-0  New Milton Town

With the snow – eventually in the frozen North – being replaced by rain waterlogged pitches now become a hazard and such was the case at Test Park on Monday evening with the postponement of the Premier Division fixture between Team Solent and Horndean.

Tuesday was perhaps better than expected with four League matches played, three in the Premier Division. There was a surprise result in the latter where two goals from Ben Wood gave Shaftesbury victory by the odd goal in three at a foggy Portland in front of probably their lowest attendance of the season. The second home defeat in a row for Portland and three very valuable points for the visitors. A good point for Fareham as well as they contained Bournemouth and earned a goalless draw at Victoria Park, a welcome result after a run of three defeats. In the third game Alresford defeated Brockenhurst by three goals to one.

In Division One the clash between AFC Stoneham and US Portsmouth fell foul of the weather as did Totton & Eling against Alton with the Millers beginning to accumulate a small back log of fixtures. One game was played in which Downton ended Ringwood’s run of wins with a three goal away victory and a hat trick for Tom Moseley that moved the Wiltshire side up to sixth place in the table. The only other game completed on the night saw Bemerton defeat their visitors from the other side of the City, Laverstock & Ford, by three goals to two and move into the Final of the Salisbury Hospitals Cup where they will meet either Amesbury or Salisbury. Two Cup matches were lost to the weather – the Hampshire Senior Cup tie between Sholing and AFC Bournemouth Under 21s and the Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final between Moneyfields and Portsmouth.

Sadly the weather again played a major part on Saturday with half the scheduled matches being postponed because of waterlogged pitches with the Premier Division being reduced to just four matches, none of which had any bearing on the top of the table. A Luke Rae hat trick gave Alresford an impressive three goal win at Bashley and moved the North Hampshire side up to fifth place in the table while it was honours even at the Sports Ground where Lymington and Hamble Club shared four goals. The visitors were two up at the break but an own goal followed by a stunning stoppage time free kick from Mike Gosney gave the home side a point. Bournemouth made the short trip to Christchurch and returned home two nil victors with goals from River Smith and substitute Manny Ohameje and the bottom of the table clash at Westwood Park between Cowes Sports and Andover New Street finished with a point for each side after a one all draw. Player manager John McKie gave the home side the Lead with Shane Lock getting the equaliser in the second half. The point takes the Island side out of the bottom two but both they and New Street have played more games than the sides directly above them.

In Division One three of the top four sides were in action and a Jordan Matthews goal, the only one of the game, gave Amesbury three valuable points at Newport. AFC Stoneham were also on the other side of the Solent but went down one nil at East Cowes Vics. Joe Butcher gave the home side the lead in the third minute and some dogged defending ensured the points though the visitors will be ruing a missed penalty. Hythe & Dibden’s trip to Verwood was called off allowing Romsey to climb in to second spot after beating New Milton two nil. Romsey are reaping the benefit of two or three years of hard work both on and off the field and are being rewarded by some healthy attendances with a three figure crowd again yesterday.

Away from the top Downton continued their current fine run with a two one win at Alton – two more goals for Tom Moseley, both penalties – and Ringwood similarly returned to form with a three one defeat of Fawley helped by two goals from Joe Manley. Joy for Andover Town too as they moved off the bottom of the table following a best of three goals win over Follands at the Portway. A penalty apiece within two minutes of each other saw the game heading for a draw until Shaquille Gwengwe added a second goal to his penalty to give the home side their fifth win of the season. All this left Amesbury four points clear at the top with Romsey now second on goal difference and eventual promotion looks very much like going down to the wire.

Finally for Clubs struggling at present to score goals there is always hope. Prior to yesterday Basingstoke, who play in the Southern League Premier South Division, had scored 48 goals in 28 games, an average of 1.7 per game. Yesterday they scored TEN!