Round up

As ever a variety of Competitions in midweek with two Premier Division matches leading the way and both finishing in away wins for two sides whose results have improved of late. It was a “Matthews” night at Bournemouth as goals from Robbie and Jordan of that ilk gave Bemerton Heath Harlequins their fifth win in their last six whilst Bashley made it three in a row with a two one victory at Hamble Club which is never an easy place to get a result. AFC Portchester moved in to the last eight of the Russell Cotes Cup with Andy Todd and Bobby Scott both scoring twice in their five one defeat of Petersfield Town whilst Lymington Town reached the last four of the Bournemouth Senior Cup by winning five three at Brockenhurst. Owen Fee scored a hat trick for the victors, including two penalties, and on an unkind night weather wise an attendance of 138 was impressive. The Salisbury Hospitals Cup tie between Amesbury Town and Andover Town fell victim to the weather but all four Quarter Finals of the Dorset Senior Cup were completed with three involving Wessex League sides. Alex Godfrey scored twice as Portland United defeated Verwood Town four two and Jack Mitchell also claimed a couple in Shaftesbury’s victory over Western League Bridport, a side that has often been a scourge of Wessex League Clubs over recent years. Hamworthy United meanwhile welcomed Poole Town’s First Team squad to the County Ground and went down by ten goals to two. (Poole also scored ten in a pre-season friendly at Hamworthy). The last of the quarter finals saw Wimborne Town beat Dorchester Town by two goals to nil.

So to Saturday and a perhaps disappointing day in the FA Vase as we lost two teams, and some unexpected results in the League as well. In the Vase the clash between Premier Division and Division One ended in favour of the former as a sixth minute goal from Aurele Beya gave Newport (IOW) victory over Christchurch. Horndean scored at the same stage at Hamble Club but the home side came back with a goal either side of half time to reach the last thirty two in the Competition – a very praiseworthy feat in their first year of entry. In the last all Sydenhams Wessex tie a Liam Robinson goal on the stroke of half time sent Blackfield and Langley through at Sholing’s expense in front of an attendance of 169. Our two Clubs on the road in the Competition suffered almost similar fates with Team Solent losing four nil at Western League Bradford Town and Baffins Milton Rovers going down four one at Combined Counties League Horley Town.

Hamworthy United made the headlines in the Premier Division inflicting Andover Town’s first home defeat in the League and only their second overall. This was the visitor’s fourth win in a row with Nathan Walker claiming both goals, one a late winner. With Andover’s three nearest rivals all involved in the Vase their position at the top of the table remains unchanged though Hamworthy’s win takes them into third place. Lymington Town were the other side to benefit, a five nil win at Bashley taking them into fifth place. Owen Fee scored his second hat trick in five days for the winners with Bashley’s only (scant) consolation being the attendance of 160 – the highest of the day in the League. AFC Portchester went down to a heavy defeat at Shaftesbury as Mali Benjamin scored twice in a five one win for the home side, their first victory in five matches, and another two goal man was Jordan Neal in Fareham Town’s three goal win over Alresford Town. Bemerton Heath Harlequins suffered their first defeat in five matches going down three nil at Cowes – two goals for John McKie – whilst at the bottom of the table both Amesbury Town and Petersfield Town added a point to their tally. Amesbury shared four goals with Portland at Bonymead Park – a third successive draw for the visitors and a very late equaliser for the home side – and there was a similar scoreline at Love Lane where Bournemouth were the opposition. However, with the midway point of the season virtually upon us Amesbury and Petersfield, along with Newport (IOW), are still adrift in the relegation zone.

Division One leaders Andover New Street enjoyed a day off but remain in pole position with Tadley Calleva now in second place after an impressive two goal victory at AFC Stoneham. Romsey Town went down two nil at home to a Folland Sports side that defended stubbornly and scored twice in the second half and a very late Lewis Wykes strike gave Laverstock and Ford victory over Whitchurch United and took them into the top five where all are covered by just four points. The free scoring Steve Flynn scored twice as New Milton Town made it sixteen points from the last eighteen with a three one win at Downton and US Portsmouth made it three wins in a row with the only goal of the game at Alton. East Cowes Victoria and Fawley AFC shared two goals at Beatrice Avenue but Ringwood Town and Totton and Eling could not manage one between them at Long Lane. Finally, Hythe and Dibden recorded their first win in five with a two goal victory at Verwood.

Three teams in the last thirty two of the Vase is a credit to the League and congratulations to all concerned whilst the Town of Andover still holds sway domestically so to speak.

Lastly, and nothing to do with the League, interesting to see that Salisbury’s game with Bideford was abandoned by the referee just before half time after a second red card. The Southern League will love that!