Weekend Preview – Saturday 27/01/18

A virtually full League Programme to look forward to with top versus bottom in the Premier Division as Petersfield Town journey to Andover Town. The home Club have made it a “Football in the Community Day” but will not be forgetting that three points is the main priority of the day in a game that could be a “banana skin”. Second place Blackfield and Langley, after a good Hampshire Senior Cup win in midweek, travel to Bemerton, not always the easiest place to get a result, while third place Hamworthy United entertain Shaftesbury, probably for the first time at this level though one suspects there have been Dorset Premier League clashes in the past. A good game in prospect at AFC Portchester where Lymington Town, unbeaten in eight though with four draws, are the visitors whilst a few miles down the road Sholing will be looking to put last week’s defeat behind them when they visit the slightly inconsistent Fareham Town. Alresford Town, unlucky at Winchester City in midweek, and still on the edge of the promotion race host Baffins Milton Rovers, possibly for the first time while Hamble Club, with the FA Vase on the horizon, host a Cowes Sports side that gained a deserved point at Blackfield last time out. Could be anybody’s game at The Grove where draw specialists Portland United meet a Horndean side slowly recovering their early season form and in the Forest Brockenhurst, who have not won in nine and have slipped down to eighteenth place in the table, entertain the often free scoring Team Solent. That just leaves the two Clubs immediately above Petersfield at the wrong end of the table, Newport (IOW) and Amesbury Town. The Islanders have games in hand but sometimes points in the bag are more valuable and welcome Bashley, who both score and concede goals, to St Georges Park with Amesbury travelling to Bournemouth who, no doubt, will still be savouring last week’s victory at Sholing.

The top game in Division One, and probably the Match of the Day in both Divisions, is at Barlows Park where leaders Tadley Calleva meet second placed Andover New Street. Even at this relatively early stage a win for either side could have a bearing on the eventual promotion placings. Third place Christchurch, still very much in contention, will be looking to maintain their long unbeaten run at the expense of visitors Alton while fourth place Romsey Town travel across Southampton to Follands mindful of the result when the two sides met earlier at the By Pass Ground. A good game in prospect at Burnaby Road where US Portsmouth, with five successive wins to their credit meet Laverstock and Ford who, after a spell of mixed results, are pushing themselves back in to contention. AFC Stoneham, with six wins in their last eight, entertain East Cowes Victoria – sometimes not the best of travellers – and the improving Fawley AFC travel to Downton who have lost their last four. New Milton Town, currently experiencing a slight “blip” in form, host Totton and Eling who will be looking to bounce back after their loss to Romsey Town while the unpredictable Ringwood Town meet a Hythe and Dibden side who have slipped in to the bottom two.

All we need is the weather to conform.