John Gorman’s Weekly Preview

After the events of midweek we have again to mention the weather and can only hope that it causes little or no disruption to the weekends programme. We start our look at the Premier Division with a virtual top versus bottom clash as long time leaders Sholing cross the Solent to face Cowes Sports at Westwood Park. The Island side have shown signs of recovery in recent games and they should be backed on the day by a healthy attendance as they look for an upset and three valuable points. Horndean, thwarted by the weather in midweek, travel to Lymington who have re-discovered their goal scoring form of late while Portland who have lost four of their last six, could face a difficult afternoon at Southampton Senior Cup Finalists Alresford. Bournemouth, who lost at Alresford in midweek, their first loss in eight, are on the road again with a visit to Hamble Club where points are never easy to come by. AFC Portchester, who claimed their first win in eleven on Tuesday entertain Hamworthy United, who do not always travel well whilst the final member of the top six, Baffins Milton Rovers, are at home to Shaftesbury who are still on the outer fringe of the relegation zone. Two very similar sides, Brockenhurst and Team Solent meet at the Meadens Skoda Arena – the result could go either way- while Christchurch, who could do with changing draws in to wins and have played more games than the clubs below them, host a Tadley side who have been among the goals of note. Finally having mentioned Cowes, who are in eighteenth place, we turn to the two Clubs below them. Bemerton Heath will be buoyed by the four goals scored and the three points gained on Tuesday when they travel to Bashley, who won their first game in seven on the same evening, while Andover New Street will be seeking to continue recent form when Fareham, another side with a number of recent drawn games, arrive at Charlton on Saturday

The First Division Promotion race continues apace though only three of the top four are in action on Saturday with Hythe and Dibden having the day off. Leaders Amesbury, who gained a point in an entertaining draw at Hythe last week, now go to Romsey for what will be another difficult afternoon. Romsey have taken sixteen points from the last eighteen and Amesbury will probably be happy to take a point again though three would obviously be welcome. AFC Stoneham, after their Cup heroics in midweek, entertain an Alton side for whom things are not going well at present. They have lost their last six League fixtures and were unable to travel to Newport on Tuesday. US Portsmouth, in fifth place and with four wins in their last six, entertain Ringwood while Downton, after a chastening home defeat last Saturday, journey to Whitchurch who have won their last four. Newport, who got back to winning ways at Petersfield in their last game, welcome Follands to the Island with the Southampton side slipping back down the table after a run of poor results, especially away from home. Also on the island East Cowes Vics, enjoying a good season, entertain Laverstock and Ford who are unbeaten in four which takes us to the bottom of the table. New Milton, who ended a long winless run by scoring six last week, host Petersfield, who do not always travel well while Andover Town, whose results and performances have picked up of late, meet the inconsistent Verwood at Potterne Park. Totton and Eling are not in action and having been forced to call off their midweek fixture due to the weather have games in hand on most.

A full completed programme would be nice.