WEEK THIRTY ONE ROUND UP
Unfortunately the weather interfered with Tuesdays fixtures with the Russell Cotes Semi Final at Portchester and the Division One matches at Tadley, Totton and Eling and Fleet Spurs falling to waterlogged pitches, but there were some significant results in the matches that were played. Prime mention has to go to Division One Shaftesbury who travelled to Bashley for a League Cup Quarter Final and came back from a goal down to win three one. They will now face Baffins Milton Rovers in the Semi Final which will mean that for perhaps only the second time in the history of the Competition there will be a Division One side in the Final. In the Premier Division Moneyfields moved thirteen points clear at the top with a two goal victory over Cowes Sports, a result that leaves the Islanders still in relegation trouble. Fareham’s recent run of success came to an end at Bemerton where the home side, similarly re-vitalised of late, came from behind to win by the odd goal in three. Horndean made it three wins in eight days with a two goal victory at Lymington and Bournemouth put some clear water between themselves and the Clubs at the bottom of the table, a Fawzi Saadi goal in stoppage time giving them all three points against Andover Town. In the two games played in Division One Christchurch overcame severe problems on the A31 to reach Hamble Club only to go down three one, with the home side now thirteen points clear at the top of the table. Laverstock and Ford moved level on points with Baffins in second place after beating Alton, who continue to struggle away from home, by five goals to two. Russell Jones scored twice for the home side who were two one down at the break. On Wednesday Blackfield ensured they remained in second place with a two goal victory at bottom Club Verwood whilst towards the foot of the Division One table East Cowes Vics and Hythe and Dibden shared two goals and the points at Beatrice Avenue with Vics equaliser coming from a last minute penalty. Lastly Team Solent, holders of the trophy, moved into the Final of this season’s Southampton Senior Cup but not without a struggle with victory over Hamble Club Reserves only coming after extra time.
The weather interfered on Saturday but thankfully not as much as was perhaps feared with the main casualty of the day being the Premier Division top of the table clash between Sholing and Moneyfields. The other games lost were at Fareham and the Division Two fixtures at Andover New Street and US Portsmouth. With Moneyfields idle two of their challengers took advantage and narrowed the gap at the top with four one victories. Blackfield had four different names on the scoresheet at Amesbury – a sixth successive defeat for the Wiltshire side – and Darren Watts and Ryan McKechnie both scored twice at a windy Portland as the home side came from behind to beat Horndean. Bemerton and Bashley shared two goals and the points a Western Way and matters also finished all square at Newport – a goal in stoppage time by home skipper Scott Sampson securing a point in a two all draw. Team Solent’s current woes continued as Lymington came from behind to win by the odd goal in three at Test Park whilst at the bottom end of the table Bournemouth’s recent good run ended with a five two reverse at Alresford, Stepan Nowanski scoring twice for the visitors. Things are beginning to look a little bleak for the bottom three with Verwood going down five one at Andover Town – five different scorers including two substitutes for the home side – and with Fawley out of action Cowes Sports were the only side to progress on the day, a lone Jordan Browne goal giving them three valuable points against fellow strugglers Whitchurch. So Moneyfields still have a seven point advantage at the top with Blackfield and Portland still in pursuit.
Division One’s match of the day saw Baffins Milton Rovers score twice in the last five minutes to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Laverstock and Ford three one but the gap between them and leaders Hamble Club – who sat yesterday out – is still a fairly hefty eight points. Shaftesbury won two one at home to Ringwood to maintain fifth position but Christchurch were held to a goalless draw by Hythe and Dibden at Hurn Bridge as they still struggle to get back to winning form. AFC Stoneham beat Alton five three in something of a goalfest at the Elliotts Arena and Sam Stewart scored twice as Weymouth Reserves came from two down to inflict a three two home defeat on Downton. Tadley scored the only goal of the game to win their local derby with Fleet Spurs whilst there was some joy for the bottom clubs. Pewsey drew two all at home to Follands with Callum Coker notching both the visitors goals, and another two goal man – Jimmi Burton – enabled East Cowes Vics to beat New Milton two one with the winner coming in stoppage time.
The tables are beginning to sort themselves out – but still a way to go.