John Gorman’s Weekly Preview

With the Premier Division Title long since and now officially decided this week’s Preview stats with the Division One Promotion race which is far from decided. With Clubs having to play 36 games the current position is:-

                                                                        Amesbury Town                 P34         Pts 81

                                                                        Hythe and Dibden             P34      Pts 77

                                                                        AFC Stoneham                     P32         Pts 76

                                                                        Romsey Town                       P34         Pts 75

This obviously means Amesbury are in pole position as regards points in the bag but also shows that Stoneham will win the Title if they win all their remaining games.

Amesbury, looking to come back from their perhaps surprising defeat at Alton last week have a home fixture with East Cowes Vics. The Island side are slowly shaking off their reputation of being bad travellers and the number of drawn matches on their record testifies to their resolve. Hythe and Dibden, with only two wins in their last six, could have a difficult afternoon at Downton who can match Vics when it comes to drawn game while. Stoneham, disappointed after the very late postponement of their game in midweek, travel to Petersfield who have won their last four. The last of the four, Romsey, face perhaps the hardest game on the afternoon with a trip to fifth place US Portsmouth who lose few on their own soil. Matters may be clearer come five o’clock on Saturday. Elsewhere in the Division Alton will hope to follow up on last week’s win when they host Verwood who can struggle away from home and just one point separate Laverstock and Ford and Fawley who meet at the former’s ground. Whitchurch, who have lost their last three, entertain Follands who have only one win in nine, while near neighbours Andover Town, now out of the bottom three, complete their fixtures by crossing the Solent to Newport who have lost their last six. The final game sees the bottom two, New Milton and Totton and Eling pitched against each other at Fawcetts Field with a win imperative to both sides.

In the Premier Division Sholing, having reached three figures in midweek in terms of League goals, entertain Tadley Calleva who can be pleased with their first season at the higher level and will provide doughty opposition. The game of the day however is probably at Victoria Park where third place Bournemouth face Horndean, one place above them. The two sidsd enjoyed differing fortunes in midweek with Horndean scoring six and Bournemouth conceding the same number but it is doubtful whether either scenario will be repeated on Saturday. Hamworthy United’s point on Tuesday took them above Portland in to fourth place but they are on the road again at Bashley, who much enjoy home comforts in terms of results, while Portland will be looking to end a poor run of results when Fareham come visiting, themselves no doubt smarting from a heavy defeat at Horndean in their last outing.. Two Clubs whose fortunes seem inextricably linked over the years, Baffins Milton Rovers and Hamble Club, cross swords with very little between them while Brockenhurst complete their Programme with a home fixture with Shaftesbury who are one place above them in the table. Cowes Sports, now free of relegation worries, welcome Lymington to the Island and Christchurch who, like Brockenhurst complete their fixtures, travel to Alresford whose inconsistency will be put to the test by the visitors recently improved form. The two bottom Clubs will be playing for pride only with Bemerton hosting the much improved AFC Portchester and Andover New Street travelling to the free scoring Team Solent.

Good luck to all.