Weekend Preview – Saturday 30/12/17

The final round of League fixtures for 2017 commences at AFC Portchester on Friday evening when the home side will be hoping for an attendance to match last week, but a different result, when they entertain Horndean. Both sides are struggling for form at present and it should be another close encounter. Premier Division leaders Andover Town will be looking to maintain their six point advantage at the top of the table when Alresford Town visit the Portway and both sides will be aware that it was Alresford that finally halted Andover’s long unbeaten start to the season. Second place Blackfield and Langley, unbeaten in their last seven League fixtures, travel to Hamble Club who have only one win in their last five whilst Hamworthy United, very much back to their early season form with six wins in seven, travel to another of last season’s promoted sides, Baffins Milton Rovers, for whom consistency is proving a struggle. Fourth place Sholing will be hoping to continue their long unbeaten run when bottom Club Petersfield Town come visiting whilst one of the most local of local derbies takes place at Lymington as they entertain Brockenhurst. On paper the home side look the better side at present but form can, and often does, go out of the window on these occasions. Bournemouth, with only three points from their last seven matches, (three draws) host the free scoring Team Solent while Fareham Town, unbeaten in five, welcome Bemerton Heath Harlequins to Cams Alders and will be hoping to extend that run. Draw specialists Portland United – their last five games have finished with the scores level – welcome Bashley to The Grove with every chance the run will reach six and lastly Amesbury Town cross the border into Dorset – just – with a visit to Shaftesbury. The home side have lost their last three whilst Amesbury have only one win in seven so the points will be keenly contested.

A slightly reduced programme in Division One where Leaders Tadley Calleva will be hoping to end the year heading the table after bottom Club Folland Sports visit to Barlows Park for a game that could come under the “coupon busting” heading. Downton’s fixture with Andover New Street will be played at New Street because of problems with the Wiltshire Club’s lights with the Andover side having won seven of their last eight in the League. Christchurch return from a spell of inactivity with a difficult trip to New Milton, who give little away in their own ground, while Romsey Town, prone to the odd “hiccup”, cross the Solent to East Cowes Victoria who perhaps need to convert draws in to victories more often. Ringwood Town host Verwood Town with neither Club in the best of form at present but one Club in form, Totton and Eling with four straight wins, make the short trip to Fawley who have won just once in their last five.

Wet on Friday but hopefully dry on Saturday.

Happy New Year to all