WEEK THIRTY ROUND UP
Monday saw Team Solent, the holders, move into the Semi Finals of the League Cup but not without some difficulty. A goal in the fifth minute appeared to have set them on their way against Division One Tadley Calleva, but the visitors refused to buckle and levelled the scores inside the last ten minutes to take the tie to penalties. These however went very much the way of the Students who successfully converted four of their spot kicks against one from the visitors. There were four Premier Division Matches on Tuesday with three affecting either the top or bottom of the table. Amesbury put their troubles of the weekend behind them with a battling display at Sholing, only going down to a last minute goal, whilst Darren Watts scored twice for Portland against Verwood for whom games are perhaps beginning to run out at the bottom of the table. A Jay Ripiner goal was enough to give Fareham Town all three points at Bashley and the Creeksiders, who were bottom of the table in early January, have now climbed to a respectable fourteenth place. The final game saw Horndean beat Brockenhurst three nil at Five Heads Park helped by two Jack Maloney penalties. In Cup games on the evening Bemerton won for the first time since early January, beating Moneyfields on the latter’s ground to move into the Final of the Russell Cotes Cup where they will meet either AFC Portchester or Gosport Borough. Cowes reached the last four of the Isle of Wight Gold Cup with a three nil victory over Shanklin and Andover New Street acquitted themselves well both on and off the field when losing 3-0 to a Salisbury side that contained a smattering of first team players in the Salisbury Hospitals Cup. On a rather damp Wednesday evening Lymington travelled to Alresford, not an easy place to win, and returned home with a three one victory and all three points.
The weekend programme commenced on Friday evening when Division One leaders Hamble Club went down to only their third League defeat of the season as a lone Tom Donaldson goal gave Romsey victory at the Bypass ground. The switch to Friday night produced an attendance of 134, perhaps twice their normal.
On a damp and gloomy Saturday weather wise there was again no change at the top of the Premier Division. Two goals from Marley Ridge gave Moneyfields victory at Amesbury while defender Steve Walker claimed the only goal of the game to ensure three points for Blackfield against Alresford. Portland notched up their ninth League win in a row scoring four without reply at Whitchurch but Sholing were held to a one all draw at Bashley, both sides struggling to score goals of late. Bemerton followed up reaching the Russell Cotes Cup final in midweek with a five three win at Portchester – two goals for Richard Jackson – and the home side must now surely be out of the promotion race. Tom McInnes scored twice as Newport beat Hamworthy by the odd goal in five whilst Fareham’s revival continued with their fifth straight win, this time three one at Team Solent who are finding points difficult to come by at present. At the bottom end of the table two Manny Ohamege goals helped Bournemouth to a three all draw at Brockenhurst and the only point gained in the day by those in the relegation battle. Verwood went down two nil at Lymington, Whitchurch have already been mentioned, Fawley lost three one at Andover – two goals for Zach Glasspool – and Cowes conceded six at Horndean, and are now very much in the relegation area, with Sam Smart and Joe Nicholson both scoring twice for the home side.
Both Baffins Milton Rovers and Laverstock and Ford took advantage of Hamble Club’s defeat to narrow the deficit at the top of the table. Baffins won four one at Pewsey – four different names on the scoresheet – whilst Russell Jones scored twice in Laverstock’s five two defeat of Fleet Spurs. Of their nearest challengers, Shaftesbury won five nil at Hythe and Dibden with Lee Gale claiming two – Hythe have now lost four in a row and conceded sixteen goals in doing so – but Christchurch went down by the odd goal in five at Totton and Eling for whom Josh Clark scored twice. The two Clubs are seven points behind the top three with games beginning to run out. The “curse” of the Club of the Month Award was in evidence at Stoneham as the home side lost two nil to a Tadley side much improved of late and US Portsmouth continued their good form with Frankie Paige on the score sheet twice in their four two victory at New Milton. Follands made the long journey to Weymouth for a tea time kick off only to go down six one with two goals each for Connor Jevon and Sanchez Baker, Alton retained their unbeaten run at home that stretches back to October with a five one defeat of Andover New Street and East Cowes went down to the only goal of the game at Ringwood.
Eighty Nine goals spread across the two Divisions.