Results 07-04-18 and John Gorman’s Round Up

Premier Division
Amesbury Town  3-1   Petersfield Town
Bashley  0-1   AFC Portchester
Bemerton Heath Harlequins  2-2   Cowes Sports
Brockenhurst  2-3   Hamble Club
Fareham Town  1-2   Shaftesbury
Horndean  3-2   Andover Town
Lymington Town  2-2   Bournemouth
Newport IoW  0-2   Portland United
Sholing  2-4   Blackfield & Langley
Team Solent  1-1   Baffins Milton Rovers

Division One
Fawley AFC  0-4   Christchurch
Folland Sports  3-1   Alton
Hythe & Dibden  1-4   Andover New Street
Laverstock & Ford  0-2   Ringwood Town
New Milton Town  3-1   Verwood Town
Tadley Calleva  2-1   East Cowes Vics
U.S. Portsmouth  3-0   Downton
Whitchurch United  2-2   Romsey Town

Once again the Round Up gives every indication of being a weather report with all the games scheduled for Easter Monday washed out. An improvement on Tuesday with three of the scheduled six fixtures being played, one in the Premier Division and two in Division One. The Premier Division game featured sides from both ends of the table and second place Blackfield & Langley, who had worked all day to ensure the pitch was playable, were rewarded for their efforts with a 3-0 win over Newport. Lerone Plummer scored all three goals to leave the Island side still in deep relegation trouble. In Division One, East Cowes made it seven points from the last nine, again with a 3-0 score line, and Ji Nash claiming two of the goals. An extraordinary evening at Alton where Fawley must have battled against black cats crossing the road all the way north given the events of the first half. After just SEVEN SECONDS they managed to concede an own goal and then proceeded to largely dominate the first half, hit the woodwork twice and go in three goals down at the break. A fourth Alton goal immediately upon the restart meant game over and the Fawley defence lost its way as Jack Chandler, Callum Birch and Matt Bunyan scored two apiece in the eventual 7-1 victory. Small consolation for Fawley that their goal, the last of the game, was also the best of the game.

It was back to “normal” on Wednesday with all four scheduled matches postponed but two of them, at Hamble Club and Portchester, being re-scheduled for Thursday. All five games on Thursday were thankfully played with just seven goals between them. In the Premier Division Blackfield & Langley were held to a goalless draw at Lymington – with the home side reduced to ten men for most of the second half – a Harry Jackson goal gave Horndean the points at Portchester and Alresford won 2-1 at Hamble Club. All credit to all involved in the last two matches mentioned for re-arranging proceedings so quickly for Thursday after Wednesday was washed out. In Division One Fawley bounced back from their travails at Alton two days earlier with a two goal victory at Verwood but Newport’s dismal season took another bad turn as they were defeated by Island League side West Wight in the Island Gold Cup.

For the first Saturday for probably two months all the scheduled games were played and the League thanks all Clubs who worked on their pitches to ensure that was the case. In the Premier Division Blackfield & Langley, who had “used” one of their games in hand in midweek to reduce the gap at the top of the table by one point, made further inroads with a 4-2 win at Sholing, who had won their previous six matches, two goals for Sam Griffin and the points gap reduced to eight as leaders Andover Town went down by the odd goal in five at Horndean. Andover were reduced to ten men early in the first half and that proved too much of a handicap in the face of a very good Horndean performance on their own pitch.

With Hamworthy United not playing and Sholing losing there was no other significant change at the top end of the table, A single goal by Robert Evans gave AFC Portchester the points at Bashley, Lymington were held to a two all draw by Bournemouth and Team Solent and Baffins shared two goals and the points at Test Park with Hisham Kasimu almost inevitably scoring for the Students. Shaftesbury’s impressive performances on the road continued with a 2-1 victory at Fareham but Brockenhurst’s seven match unbeaten run ended when Hamble Club departed the Forest with a 3-2 victory and the points.

At the bottom Cowes Sports collected a welcome and possibly important point in a two all draw at Bemerton, but things are looking far from good for their Island neighbours Newport. The St. Georges Park side went down to a seventh successive League defeat, Portland winning 2-0, and the “Port” are going to need a massive change of fortunes to avoid finishing in the bottom three. The final game in the Division produced greatly contrasting emotions with Amesbury beating Petersfield 3-1 to continue to give themselves a lifeline to avoid the drop but for Petersfield it was one defeat too many. The Club are now facing Division One football next season just three years after being Premier Division Champions. Hopefully they can rebuild and start on the upward climb again.

The Division One promotion race shows no sign of finishing soon though Christchurch look almost certain of top flight football next season after their 4-0 win at Fawley, where Max Wilcock scored twice, meaning they are eight points ahead of second placed Andover New Street with games in hand. New Street maintained second spot with a 4-1 win at Hythe & Dibden – four different scorers – and Tadley won for the third game in a row, beating East Cowes Vics 2-1 at Barlows Park. US Portsmouth returned to winning ways with a three goal defeat of Downton, two goals for Lewis Beale, but both Laverstock and Ford and Romsey dropped points. The Wiltshire side went down 2-0 at home to Ringwood while Romsey were two goals up at Whitchurch only for the home side to score twice in the closing minutes and ensure a share of the points. At the bottom Verwood went down 3-1 at New Milton but Follands claimed their fourth win of the season as they came from behind to beat Alton 3-1 with Sanchez McLean scoring twice, Alton had scored eleven goals in their previous two home fixtures but still too often seem to find life difficult on their travels.

So, matters are a little clearer – but only a little!