John Gorman’s Weekly Preview

With the tropical weather experienced to date so far this week we should complete the scheduled Programme of League matches and for a change will start with the interesting promotion position at the top of Division One. The top game, and indeed the Match of the day overall, is at Clayfields where the top two. Amesbury and Hythe and Dibden meet. Both sides have only two defeats to their name but the Wiltshire side have a game in hand and are three points ahead. Third place Romsey Town travel to the Portway to meet Andover Town for the third time this season, having won comfortably in the League, League Cup and Hampshire Senior Cup at the By-Pass ground. The visitors will be looking to get back to winning ways after dropping two points last weekend while Andover won well in midweek. AFC Stoneham, the fourth member of the promotion chasing group, have returned to form with five goals in both their last two matches but may face a difficult afternoon at US Portsmouth whose loss last week may have terminally damaged their own promotion hopes. Downton in sixth place and unbeaten in seven entertain a Fawley side who have only won one in seven whilst only one point and one place in the table separate East Cowes Vics and Verwood who meet on the island. Newport in turn leave the island for Petersfield having lost their last five and another Club who have lost their last five, Alton, travel to Ringwood who held Romsey to a draw a week ago. Back to the bottom of the table, where we have already mentioned Andover, and New Milton, badly in need of a win as has been said here for some time now, host Follands who still tend to stutter on their travels while Totton and Eling, having lost five four to Laverstock and Ford at home on Wednesday evening get an early chance of revenge and much needed points when the two Clubs meet again at Church Road on Saturday.

In the Premier Division long time leaders Sholing will be looking to get back to winning ways after two Cup defeats when they travel to AFC Portchester who have not won in nine while Horndean and Bournemouth, who met on Tuesday, will be seeking to cement second place. Horndean, defeated in that game in midweek following two drawn games, host Bashley, who have not won in five, and Bournemouth make the long trip to Alresford, who will be looking to continue the form that took them to the Southampton Senior Cup Final n Tuesday. Two Clubs who have not enjoyed the best of results of late, Portland and Hamble Club, meet at the Grove and Tadley and Lymington, level on points and separated by one place in the table, clash at Barlows Park. Fareham, not totally free from relegation fears, are at Team Solent whose recent form has taken them to a mid-table place while Christchurch, also looking over their shoulder having played more games than most, travel to the inconsistent Brockenhurst. That leave just the three Clubs currently at the bottom of he table. Andover New Street, after securing three valuable points last week, host Hamworthy United who have not lost in five while Bemerton Heath – no wins in nine- welcome Baffins Milton Rovers to Western Way with the visitors finding winning ways again last weekend. Last on the list are Cowes Sports who have picked up of late and face a Shaftesbury side who have a long journey but gave Salisbury a tough time in midweek.

We are now approaching the stage when for some, and for different reasons, points become all important – 4.45 on Saturday may see things in a little clearer light.