Week 27 Round Up By John Gorman

Nine games scheduled on Tuesday , five in the Premier Division and four in four different Cup Competitions. The latter went ahead but the weather rather decimated the League fixtures with the games at Sholing and AFC Portchester lost to waterlogged pitches – Portchester shortly before kick off – while the game between Shaftesbury and Bournemouth started and then finished after fifteen minutes as dense fog descended on that part of Dorset. The two games that were played saw Andover Town gain another three points at the top of the table and Alresford move in to fifth place. Two first half goals from George Hallahan, making it twenty goals in slightly fewer appearances, gave the leaders victory over Horndean though they were on the back foot for long periods in the second half as the visitors tried to repeat their comeback of three days earlier. Alresford scored twice in the opening quarter of an hour and added a third after the break to deny Newport the points though the Islanders will probably be glad to have played given the postponements they have suffered of late. The four Cup games produced an astonishing twenty nine goals between them with Blackfield and Langley becoming the first side to reach the League Cup Semi Final stage after defeating Hamworthy five nil at Gang Warily with two goals apiece for Sam Griffin and Liam Robinson. Hamble Club exited the Hampshire Senior Cup as Havant and Waterlooville fielded their full first team squad and won eight one – a result and a game that Hamble could have done without with their Vase game coming up on Saturday. Lymington earned themselves a semi final tie with Saints in the Southampton Senior Cup after beating Netley Central six one – a hat trick for Ashley Jarvis – and there was also a hat trick for Zach Neve at Andover New Street as they defeated Winchester Castle seven one in the North Hants Cup. This is a very difficult Competition to keep track of but that seemingly assures them of a place in the last four.

And so it was not to be. Hamble Club’s superb run in the FA Vase came to a halt in the regal surrounds of Windsor as a goal in each half saw the Hellenic League side through to the last eight. Hamble have had a superb run in this, their first season in the Competition, and can be proud of their achievement and will have learnt from, and hopefully enjoyed, the experience.
The League programme was again badly affected by the weather with eight matches postponed across the two Divisions. In the Premier Division the top of the table was unchanged with leaders Andover Town having a blank Saturday and Blackfield and Langley, Sholing and Hamworthy all thwarted by waterlogged pitches. On the fringe of the promotion race Alresford went down four two at Bashley – two goals for Lewis Ross and the highest attendance of the day – while AFC Portchester made it four wins in a row with a three one defeat of bottom Club Petersfield. As at Andover last week Petersfield scored first but three second half goals, two from Jordan Neal, gave the home side the points. In the game between two Clubs who have found wins difficult to come by of late, Baffins Milton Rovers produced one of their best results of the season with a five goal victory over Cowes Sports that included a hat trick from Jordan Neal. Brockenhurst’s long run without a victory continued as a lone goal from Matt Simm gave Fareham all three points and there was a welcome and hard earned point for Amesbury as they shared four goals at Horndean and moved out of the bottom two in the table.

As in the Premier Division most of the top teams were out of action in Division One – Christchurch must be wondering when they are going to play again – but Laverstock and Ford moved in to third place after a five goal defeat of Verwood with Russell Jones scoring twice. The Wiltshire side are now level on points with Tadley but the latter have three games in hand. US Portsmouth returned to winning ways after last week’s defeat with a three nil win over Hythe and Dibden and AFC Stoneham moved in to fifth place after scoring four without reply at Follands. Alton scored a very good and late winner to deny a battling East Cowes Vics and Whitchurch lost for the fifth time in a row as Fawley triumphed by the odd goal in three on the Waterside.
So on a day when it was largely a case of marking time in the League, commiserations and congratulations to Hamble Club who have done themselves and the League proud over the course of their Vase campaign.

The League still however has a “vague” interest in the Competition with former Sydenham side Thatcham Town reaching the last eight yesterday.