Weekend Preview – Saturday 02/09/17

This weekend is largely dominated by the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with four of our Clubs involved and all happily drawn at home. In what would be something of a commentator’s nightmare AFC Portchester face Dorchester Town from the Southern League Premier Division. The visitors have not made the best of starts to the season with just three points from five matches and will not be over-confident of a happy outcome to the tie. Just up the road, so to speak, Horndean face Bodmin Town who have been one of the top sides in the South West Peninsula League for a number of seasons but at present are languishing in the bottom reaches of the table with just two points from four games. Horndean have the confidence of a good win in midweek behind them and also the incentive to avoid a midweek trip to Cornwall for any replay. Hamworthy United will be hoping their excellent League form to date will carry over to the Cup as they welcome Wessex League old boys Thatcham Town to the County Ground. The Berkshire Club have already beaten Petersfield Town and Alresford Town in the Competition this season so will be seeking a third Wessex League scalp. Finally, to the Portway where Andover Town, who defeated Southern League Wimborne Town in the last round, host Cadbury Heath from the Western League Premier Division. The visitors, based on the outskirts of Bristol, have taken three points from their five games to date but all will be aware that Cup ties can be the great leveller as far as form and placings are concerned.

In the Premier Division Match of the Day table toppers Blackfield and Langley will put their one hundred per cent record on the line when Sholing, just two points adrift, travel to Gang Warily. Baffins Milton Rovers, who lost top spot after going down five one to Horndean on Tuesday, will be looking to get back on track again but could face a difficult afternoon at Shaftesbury. Alresford Town, who regained their scoring touch in midweek, entertain Hamble Club, who have lost their last two matches, whilst Brockenhurst will look to recover from losing the local derby with Lymington Town when Newport (IOW) come visiting. The Island side, currently without a Manager, have lost their lost two fixtures and finished both games in some disarray, though all will be pleased to see Darren Powell back in action again. The aforementioned Lymington Town will be looking to make it four wins in a row when they travel to meet a Bournemouth side with just two League goals to their credit this season. Two other sides who have found goal scoring difficult so far, Bashley and Team Solent, meet in the Forest while Fareham Town, who have been playing well without the results to show for their efforts, go to Bemerton. All seems not well with the Salisbury side at present with them having to call off their game with Shaftesbury in midweek. Cowes Sports, who will have taken heart from their Island derby win on Monday, entertain an Amesbury Town side who have recorded just one win in their six League matches to date and look to be in need of points, while finally Petersfield Town, who seemingly took a step back in midweek when conceding seven at home to Alresford Town, face a long journey and a daunting task at Portland United.

Division One saw new leaders in midweek when Tadley Calleva took top spot following their five nil win over Whitchurch United and the Berkshire side now face Weymouth Reserves, making their longest journey of the season, and a side currently struggling for points. Romsey Town, in second spot, entertain a New Milton Town side who have not won for three matches following a bright start while Andover New Street, beaten by Romsey Town in midweek, will be looking to get back to winning ways when Hythe and Dibden visit Foxcotte Park. Laverstock and Ford, who lost their unbeaten record on Tuesday entertain Fawley AFC while Verwood Town, who like Fawley AFC, are not finding life easy at present in Division One travel to Whitchurch United, who recorded their first victory of the season last Saturday. Alton, strong on their own pitch, welcome Totton and Eling, beaten in both of their away matches to date, while a good game is in prospect at Ringwood where third placed US Portsmouth are the visitors. Christchurch, in seventh spot but only two points adrift of the leaders, travel to the inconsistent Folland Sports whilst lastly AFC Stoneham face Downton in a game that could go either way.

But this week eyes will be on the FA Cup and best wishes to all four sides competing in same.