WEEK TWENTY NINE ROUND UP
Two League matches on Tuesday with one in each Division. A Dan Mason penalty gave Sholing victory over Bemerton whilst Division One leaders Hamble Club shared four goals at US Portsmouth. Coby Wilson scored twice for the visitors but a late goal from Jordan Neal ensured that the points were also shared. In the Russell Cotes Cup two Ashley Ledger goals looked to have ensured extra time for AC Stoneham at Gosport before a last minute goal dashed their hopes and sent the struggling National League side through. Finally, AFC Portchester found Havant and Waterlooville too strong in the Portsmouth Senior Cup, conceding five goals without reply. Portland’s League meeting with Team Solent fell foul of the weather but Verwood remain firmly ensconced at the foot of the Premier Division table after going down three nil at home to Horndean, for whom Robbie Tambling scored twice. In the League Cup Shaftesbury made the long journey to Alresford and were surely wondering as to whether it was worthwhile when they found themselves three nil down. However, an inspired fightback led by two goals from Lee Gale bought the score to four all at ninety minutes and the visitors then went on to win five pour on penalties. They now make face Premier Division opposition again when they visit Bashley in the Quarter Final. The last game of the evening saw Whitchurch exit the Andover Open Cup at the semi-final stage going down two one to HPFL Winchester Castle despite creating enough chances to reach double figures.
With the weather almost balmy for February there should have been a full Programme on Saturday but regrettably the Portland v Amesbury clash was postponed with the visitors unable to raise a side.
There have been more instances of this happening across the Leagues this season than over the last three or four seasons combined and it is something that the League and Clubs have to address.
The preview of the weekend suggested that the game to watch would be at Test Park but few would have predicted the outcome as a Jamie White hat trick steered Blackfield & Langley to a five one victory – surely one of the worst home defeats in the Students short history. This kept the Waterside Club in second place as leaders Moneyfields came from behind to beat Brockenhurst courtesy of two Dan Wooden goals. With Portland United out of action, Sholing’s three nil victory over Horndean took them back to third place whilst AFC Portchester re-discovered winning form with a two goal victory at Bournemouth. Andy Todd scored the goals that sent Bournemouth back into the relegation area. Alresford Town, helped by two Chris Mason penalties, beat Hamworthy United three one whilst Andover Town scored three times in the first eighteen minutes before eventually beating visitors Newport (IOW) three two. Congratulations to Alex Dockree who became the first player to reach one hundred appearances for the relatively recently formed Andover Club. Bemerton’s dismal run continued with defeat at Lymington by the odd goal in three whilst the two other games involving Clubs at the bottom saw Fareham Town as the main beneficiaries. A perhaps contentious Curt Robbins penalty gave the Cams Alders side all three points against Whitchurch United, though Fareham did deserve the win overall, while on the Island Gareth Bricknell’s goal gave Cowes Sports a valuable point in a one all draw with Bashley, Kabba Jack netting for the visitors.
Division One leaders Hamble Club needed a late goal from substitute Jamie Mansell to ensure all three points against AFC Stoneham with Baffins Milton Rovers holding on to second place after a four nil win over Hythe and Dibden, Tyler Moret scoring twice. Laverstock and Ford scored twice in the last ten minutes to overcome a spirited Andover New Street but Christchurch dropped two points after a three all draw with New Milton. Luke Stone scored twice for the Hurn Bridge Club who unfortunately also conceded two own goals at the other end. Shaftesbury scored four for the second consecutive home game – two for Lee Gale – but US Portsmouth also scored four in reply to take a deserved share of the points. A lone goal gave Ringwood Town victory over Downton and Romsey Town and Alton shared the points at the By-Pass ground with a one all draw. There was a similar outcome at Weymouth – two all with Totton and Eling – and two Clubs for whom points have been in short supply, Fleet Spurs and Pewsey Vale, drew two each and will no doubt happily take a point apiece. Finally, East Cowes Victoria, for whom every step forward is followed by one or two steps back, went down six nil at home to Tadley Calleva, The prolific Brett Denham added another hat trick to his season’s tally and James Tennant claimed two.
We have to finish on a sad note with the passing of former Cup Final Referee Alan Robinson. Alan used all his vast experience as an Assessor on the Sydenhams League (Wessex) for many seasons and more than one referee, and the League, will have benefitted from his wisdom. Our condolences go to his family and friends.