Round up

No scheduled football in midweek, including New Years Day, and a bad start to the weekend when Newport’s FA Vase Tie with Bradford Town, due to be played on Saturday, was called off on the Friday evening because of the pitch being waterlogged.

Pride of place on Saturday undoubtedly goes to Hamble Club. Their first season at this level, the first time they have been eligible to enter the FA Vase and they have reached the last sixteen. A long journey to Hereford and a goal down at the break, they scored four times in the second half against Westfields, two goals each for Nick Watts and Nathan Lynch, to ensure their place in Monday’s draw. Blackfield and Langley will also be in the draw but will need to win their replay at Bracknell on Tuesday to actually progress after a brave and eventually heart breaking performance at Gang Warily. Goalkeeper Brad Snelling was sent off some thirty minutes in to the game but the Watersiders came from a goal down to lead two one before an equaliser for the visitors deep in to second half stoppage time. The additional half hour bought a further goal apiece leaving all still to play for on Tuesday evening. The third tie involving the Sydenhams League, between Newport (IOW) and Bradford Town at St Georges Park, was postponed and re-scheduled for next Saturday.

In the Premier Division where all the scheduled matches were played the game of the day at the County Ground saw a lone goal by Dan Cann for Hamworthy United end Sholing’s long unbeaten run and allow the home side to leapfrog their visitors in to third place in the table. Andover Town remain nine points clear after a three goal victory over Brockenhurst at the Portway. The “G Force” of Zach Glasspool and Mike Gosney contributed a goal apiece and they also missed a penalty. Another good attendance as well, topping the two hundred mark. Lymington Town took their unbeaten run to six with a two one win at Amesbury whilst Shaftesbury and Alresford Town shared the points at Cockrams. Horndean, struggling to get back to their early season form, went down to their fourth defeat in six – five nil at Bashley with five different names on the score sheet – whilst AFC Portchester won two one at Bemerton. Portland United claimed their first win in eight matches with a two nil success at Bournemouth – the home side have now not won in nine matches – and a three figure crowd at Westwood Park saw Cowes Sports and Baffins Milton Rovers share four goals and the points. Finally, so near but yet so far for bottom Club Petersfield Town who looked certain of a point against Fareham Town at Love Lane until the visitors scored in the last minute to win by the odd goal in seven and take their unbeaten run to six matches. Some solace for Petersfield perhaps with a very healthy attendance.

Whilst all the Premier Division matches were played, Division One was heavily decimated by the weather with five of the eight matches being postponed. Andover New Street claimed their ninth win in ten with a three one victory at Ringwood that took them two points clear at the top of the table and Tadley Calleva maintained second place with an emphatic six one defeat of Alton at Barlows Park. Brett Denham scored four for the home side as Alton’s away woes continued. In the other game played there was a welcome win for Verwood Town with three goals in the last thirteen minutes, two from Joe Manley, giving Whitchurch United’s new Management team an unsuccessful start to their reign.

So with no midweek football and six postponements yesterday, a somewhat truncated round up this week. Andover Town and Blackfield and Langley are still ahead of the rest in the Premier Division with no change at the bottom whilst in Division One nine points cover the top five Clubs with Christchurch, in third place, building up their games in hand.

But it was the Vase that took centre stage – all praise for Hamble Club and good wishes to Blackfield and Langley and Newport for the coming week