Weekend Preview – Saturday 12/08/17

With no League Tables of any note in being as yet it is simpler if the games for the weekend are reviewed in the order they appear on the Fixture List commencing with the Premier Division.

AFC Portchester, who have lost their opening two League games but bounced back in the FA Cup, entertain a Team Solent side who have lost all their games to date and it could be another difficult afternoon for the Students. Alresford Town opened the season with two away wins against strong opposition and now meet Brockenhurst, who lost in midweek, whilst in what could be the match of the day, Andover Town and Sholing, both unbeaten to date and both in their own minds title contenders, meet at the Portway. Baffins Milton Rovers were shown the strength of the Division at Sholing on Tuesday and now face fairly local opposition as Fareham, who have made a decent start to the season, come visiting while also on the road are Champions Portland United who make the difficult journey to Cowes and a side who will no doubt be buoyed by their midweek win. Bemerton Heath Harlequins, who have lost both games to date, go to Hamble Club, unknown territory for the visitors and a side keen to make their mark at the higher level. Newport (IOW), having missed out on a journey to Godalming in midweek because of the weather, make the long haul to Hamworthy who are unbeaten to date and on the other side of the County Horndean, a good win in the FA Cup to their credit, host Bournemouth who went out of the same competition in a midweek replay. Petersfield Town endured a horrendous season last time round, and at present not enjoying the best of starts at the lower level face an Amesbury Town side that will not be lacking in confidence after two wins in the last eight days. Finally, Shaftesbury and Lymington Town meet at Coppice Road with the home side having enjoyed Cup success in midweek.

Division One, slower off the mark as regards getting started, has two games on Friday. Fawley AFC, whose midweek game was called off, travel to Andover New Street – the fixture has been reversed – who took three points from their opening match, and Totton and Eling, after a narrow defeat at Weymouth host a US Portsmouth side no doubt anxious to atone for defeat at Tadley last Saturday. On to this Saturday when AFC Stoneham, after successfully marking the installation of their new floodlights on Tuesday, will welcome Weymouth Reserves, and Ringwood Town, after two heavy defeats thus far, travel up the A31 to Alton. Hythe and Dibden face difficult opposition at Claypits as Tadley Calleva come south while Laverstock and Ford will be hoping to build on their two wins to date when Romsey Town visit The Dell. East Cowes Victoria, after a point in game one, travel to relegated Verwood Town where the home side will be looking to put Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat behind them, and finally Christchurch journey north to Whitchurch three points to the good after victory at Weymouth in midweek for what is the first league fixture of the season for their hosts.

Lastly, for reasons unknown, the Hampshire Senior Cup, which springs fully in to life the week after next has one game scheduled for this Saturday with Bashley travelling to Guernsey to meet Northerners. The Channel Island side gave a good account of themselves at Lymington in the same competition last season and could prove a difficult prospect on their own ground.