John Gorman’s Weekly Preview

After the virtual washout in midweek we have to hope for better weather for the full programme of League fixtures scheduled for Saturday.

The point is fast approaching where the Premier Division Title will be Sholing’s to lose, if it has not already been reached, with the unbeaten leaders fifteen points clear and with games in hand on all. On Saturday they travel to Bashley, who have won their last two games, and could well attract the day’s largest attendance. Second place Horndean need to get back to winning ways with only one win in their last five when they entertain an Alresford side that has not won in their last five League fixtures. Third placed Bournemouth have suffered a slight blip with defeats in their last two and they welcome a Shaftesbury side in decent form of late but still lower in the table than they would perhaps wish. The last of the top four, Portland, whose results have been up and down over the last six weeks, could face a difficult afternoon at Baffins Milton Rovers who are unbeaten in their last four. Hamworthy United, somewhat isolated in fifth place, travel to Brockenhurst who have not won in four with Hamble Club, who complete the top six, home to AFC Portchester whose season continues to slide. Fareham with four draws in their last six face Lymington at Cams Alders with the visitors in goalscoring form while the remaining three games could or will have a bearing on the relegation placings. Christchurch, with the problem of having played more games than those below them, collected three valuable points last week and now face bottom Club Andover New Street, for whom points are a necessity, at Hurn Bridge. Cowes Sports make the long haul to Tadley hoping to continue recent improvement while Bemerton Heath host Team Solent who have climbed to safety with five wins in their last seven games.

The Division One promotion race continues apace with all four Clubs that are in contention away from home. Leaders Amesbury, having collected four points from two difficult games against fellow promotion chasers, now go to the other end of the table and bottom place Totton and Eling and a possible “banana skin”. The Millers have games in hand on those above them but are beginning to face possible fixture congestion. Hythe and Dibden, having suffered just two defeats in the League, go to Andover while Romsey, who suffered their first loss in seven last week, have a similar task to Amesbury in front of them with a trip to Follands who have slipped down the table over recent weeks. The fourth of the leading quartet, AFC Stoneham, travel to Downton where points have been hard to find for visiting sides this season, with the visitors, like Amesbury, closing in on one hundred League goals for the season. US Portsmouth journey to Alton who have lost their last seven and Laverstock and Ford make a quick return trip to the Island. Having secured a draw at East Cowes they now face a Newport side who, like themselves, have picked up over recent weeks and the result could go either way. Vics head over to the Mainland to Ringwood who have won just once in their last five which leaves two games that could go either way. Petersfield host Fawley AFC while Whitchurch, with thirteen points from their last fifteen, take the A31 to Verwood.

The season moves rapidly on.