Results & John Gorman’s Round Up – week ending 24-03-18

Premier Division
Amesbury Town 3-3 Cowes Sports
Andover Town 0-3 Baffins Milton Rovers
Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0-8 Blackfield & Langley
Bournemouth 0-0 AFC Portchester
Lymington Town 1-2 Shaftesbury

Division One
Christchurch 4-2 AFC Stoneham
Downton 1-2 East Cowes Vics
New Milton Town 1-2 Romsey Town
Ringwood Town 2-1 Alton
Tadley Calleva 2-0 Hythe & Dibden
Whitchurch United 2-1 U.S. Portsmouth

With a backlog of fixtures beginning to build two Monday games were scheduled but to no avail – the Sunday snow meant postponements at both Team Solent and Whitchurch. However, some progress fixture wise on Tuesday with only two postponements and two Cup matches leading the way. In the Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) League Cup a superb performance by Division One side AFC Fawley saw them reach the Semi Finals after defeating Premier Division Hamble Club on penalties following a scoreless ninety minutes. To make the result even more outstanding the match was switched to Hamble’s ground because of the Fawley pitch being unplayable.

The other Cup fixture was in the Southampton Senior Cup Semi Final and again neither side, Blackfield and Langley or Sholing, could find the net in the initial ninety minutes, but it was Blackfield who went through in the penalty shoot out, with goalkeeper Brad Snelling saving twice to ensure a second Cup Final at St Marys next month.

In the Premier Division Andover Town collected three more points but not without a struggle at Bournemouth. Manny Soetan, who scored a hat trick 3 days earlier, put the visitors ahead only for the home side to equalise almost immediately and it was the 89th minute when Soetan grabbed the winner. Andover’s first goal was their 100th in the League this season and they are the first Club to reach that mark. Hamworthy United, beaten by Andover on Saturday, went down again at home, this time four two to Horndean for whom Harry Jackson scored twice, while a lone goal by Elliott Cross gave Bemerton the points against Bashley.

In the remaining game in the Premier Division there were four different scorers for Lymington Town in their four two defeat of Fareham Town. There were two matches in Division One that involved promotion contenders. Leaders Christchurch travelled to Laverstock and Ford and looked to have the points sewn up before a penalty to the home side five minutes in to stoppage time meant the points were shared while a goal from Craig Bryant, the only one of the game, gave Romsey all three points against US Portsmouth.

The other game in the Division saw Totton and Eling come from behind to defeat Ringwood five two helped by a hat trick from Nathan Gray. Lee Vint scored both goals for the visitors who have conceded twelve goals in their last two matches. And some relief for East Cowes Vics who have suffered a torrid time results wise in the League of late as they progressed in the Isle of Wight Gold Cup with victory over Island side Northwood St. Johns.

Three games on Wednesday, one in each Division and one Cup fixture. Amesbury failed to improve their position at the lower end of the Premier Division when they went down two one at home to Baffins Milton Rovers on possibly the visitors’ first ever visit to Bonnymead Park, while in Division One AFC Stoneham were held to a one all draw at Hythe and Dibden, a good point for the home Club. The one Cup tie saw Andover New Street reach their second Cup Final with a facile eight one victory over Basingstoke League Side (and HPFL aspirants) Kingsclere. Hat tricks for Shane Lock and Nic Turpin and two for Jazz Beavis and Street will now meet Alresford in the Final of the Andover Open Cup.

In a rare Thursday game, though there will be more in the ensuing weeks as the fixture back log is cleared, AFC Portchester reached their second Cup Final and added to Gosport Borough’s season of woe. This was in the Portsmouth Senior Cup with two goals from Alex Baldacchino helping the Wessex League side through to a Fratton Park Final against either Fareham Town or Havant and Waterlooville with a four two victory on the Southern League side’s own ground. Overall the weekend belonged to Fawley. Given the problems – not of their making – that they have overcome in the last eighteen months a place in the League Cup Final is just reward

Two important games on Friday night and one, with respect, unexpected result, Fawley AFC, having beaten one Premier Division side earlier in the week, went one step further with victory over the holders, Sholing, to reach the Final of the League Cup for the first time in their history. Goals from Ben Bolton and Ollie Bradley gave the Oilers a halftime lead and the predictable Sholing onslaught after the break produced just the one goal from Dan Mason as the home side held out for a famous victory and will now face AFC Portchester in the Final. The other game was in Division One with promotion contenders and near rivals Laverstock and Ford and Andover New Street meeting at the Dell. In a somewhat fractious game – why do players and officials feel it necessary to constantly harass the match Officials – it was the visitors who came out on top by four goals to two to climb back to second place in the table.

Four matches postponed on Saturday, all in the Premier Division, and fixtures are beginning to pile up for one or two Clubs with April on the horizon. In the games played there were very contrasting fortunes for the two Clubs at the top of the Premier Division. Leaders Andover Town went down to their first home defeat in the League as a very impressive Baffins Milton Rovers scored three times in the first twenty five minutes and comfortably maintained that scoreline despite playing the last twenty minutes or so with ten men after a rash challenge that was out of keeping with the game. S

econd place Blackfield and Langley in comparison had one of those days when everything went right as they scored eight without reply at Bemerton – a hat trick for Liam Robinson and doubles also coming from Sam Griffin and Leroy Plummer. Postponements and the planned fixtures meant that most of the sides in the top six in the table were not in action though Lymington went down two one at home to Shaftesbury. A good result for the visitors and Lymington have now lost four of their last five.

AFC Portchester were held to a goalless draw at Bournemouth, a welcome point for the home side, while the only other Premier Division game played could have affected the end of the table but in the end failed to disturb the status quo. If Amesbury are to escape relegation the Club they have to catch is Cowes Sports but the meeting of the two in Wiltshire ended with six goals and the points being shared. John McKie scored twice for the Islanders while Amesbury at least ended a run of six defeats.

In Division One Christchurch won something of a crunch game with AFC Stoneham with James King scoring twice in their four two victory with Sergio Caballero claiming both goals for the visitors who are experiencing something of a mini slump at present. The Hurn Bridge side are now seven points clear, and enjoyed a good attendance as well, but the log jam behind them in the promotion race shows no sign of easing.

Andover New Street won on Friday and both Romsey and Tadley took all three points in the Saturday matches. A late Craig Bryant goal gave Romsey victory at New Milton while Brett Denham scored both Tadley’s goals in their win over Hythe and Dibden. However, US Portsmouth lost ground going down two one at Whitchurch for whom new signing Rory Wood scored both goals. A good and welcome win for the North Hampshire side, their first in nine matches.

A welcome win also for East Cowes Vics who made the long journey to Downton and came out on top by the odd goal in three – a first win in eleven matches. In the final game Ringwood came from behind to beat Alton two one, another welcome result after a couple of heavy defeats.

So, a weekend when there were some outstanding performances with credit to Andover New Street, Baffins and Blackfield but for Kevin Mitchell and his colleagues and Fawley – may they enjoy their day in the sun.