Weekend Preview – Saturday 22/04/17


So finally the last day of the season with all clubs except Weymouth Reserves who have already finished their fixtures (through Division One having an odd number) playing their final game of the season, a season which has been notable, because of the weather and the good work of the Fixture Secretary, has not featured the usual end of season rush to get the fixtures completed.

The position at the top of Division One is not resolved, and indeed cannot be resolved, until an FA Hearing which is being held next week – despite our pleas that it be held before the end of the season. Both the contenders are at home, Moneyfields to Newport (IOW), who will be relieved to have been granted another year at their present home, and Portland United to Bemerton Heath Harlequins in what will be Graham Kemp’s last game in charge of the visitors. Blackfield and Langley, needing a win to ensure third place, entertain a Fareham Town side that have enjoyed a good second half of the season whilst Sholing, who could finish third if Blackfield lose, host a Team Solent side whose season has rather tailed off following there commendable FA Vase exploits. Alresford Town, who have come back exceedingly strongly after last season’s woes to be certain of fifth spot, face Andover Town who have probably had a disappointing campaign by their standards, while Horndean who should finish sixth, entertain Bashley. The New Forest Club have had an enjoyable and pleasing season after a couple of years of struggle and have attracted good attendances throughout. Lymington Town, perhaps too inconsistent, meet Bournemouth who have again maintained their record of being ever-present in the Premier Division and now focus on those still intent on maintaining Premier League status. Verwood Town, already relegated, entertain AFC Portchester, another whose season has been disappointing by their standards, but any two of Cowes Sports, Fawley AFC or Whitchurch United could be playing Division One football next season. The Islanders have probably the best chance of survival as a win over an Amesbury Town side who have found their first season at the higher level something of a test, will ensure their safety. Fawley AFC, who have admirably overcome problems off the field which were not of their making, entertain Brockenhurst, to whom the word inconsistent could also apply, while Whitchurch United travel to Hamworthy United needing to score a lot of goals and for the other results to go their way.

In Division One Champions Hamble Club finish their season with a visit from a New Milton Town side who have picked up in recent weeks. Second place Baffins Milton Rovers travel to Totton and Eling whilst the third of the promoted Clubs, Shaftesbury, entertain a Fleet Spurs side that do not always travel too well. Christchurch, in the promotion race almost to the end, travel across the Solent to East Cowes Victoria whilst Laverstock and Ford, for so long promotion candidates, meet Tadley Calleva in a game that could go either way. AFC Stoneham may be too strong for a Folland Sports side that has rather struggled after relegation whilst free scoring Ringwood Town meet Alton Town, whose away record is a little inconsistent. Pewsey Vale finish a difficult season with a trip to Romsey Town, who concede little at home, and United Services could maintain their impressive home record when Hythe and Dibden are the visitors. Lastly Downton, another side to have enjoyed a good second half to the season, host Andover New Street in what is almost a local derby. But mention again of Weymouth Reserves who have acquitted themselves well both on and off the field in their inaugural season in the League

So the last Saturday and nearly all will be resolved.