John Gorman’s Preview 14/04/18

Despite games coming thick and fast the top of the table positions in both Divisions are still up in the air though they are perhaps looking a little clearer. In the Premier Division, Andover Town, with their lead cut to three points, need just one point to ensure promotion – assuming two are going up – when Fareham come to the Portway on the back of a convincing midweek win at Newport. Blackfield with nine goals and two wins in midweek, entertain Lymington, just a couple of weeks after the sides battled out a goalless draw in the reverse encounter.

Sholing are still third after beating Team Solent six nil on Thursday – this after the Students were perhaps unlucky not to beat Andover on Tuesday – and now face a possibly difficult encounter at sixth place Alresford. Portchester have moved up to fifth and will host Newport on Saturday with the Islanders still deep in trouble in the bottom three.

Horndean, who beat Andover last Saturday, cross to Cowes who are still seeking points to ensure their Premier Division place next season whilst Hamworthy, eyeing a top four finish, welcome Bemerton to the County Ground. Two games that only affect the middle of the table see Baffins Milton Rovers make the long haul to Portland, the latter having conceded five in each of their two midweek matches, and Brockenhurst heading for Shaftesbury. Finally Amesbury, still with an outside chance of avoiding the drop, could find life difficult at Hamble Club, whilst Petersfield, already relegated, go to Bournemouth.

In Division One, Andover New Street despite two wins in midweek, including one over top of the table Christchurch, still find themselves two points adrift of the leaders who also have a far superior goal difference. Christchurch now entertain East Cowes Vics, who have found some form of late, whilst New Street travel to Verwood. Third place Tadley, who have won their last four and are seemingly hitting form at the right time, are also on the road with a trip to Totton and Eling.

The top three have now opened a small gap on their pursuers but cannot afford to relax. US Portsmouth, up to fourth after a midweek victory, host the unpredictable New Milton, Laverstock and Ford with only one win in their last four welcome Hythe and Dibden , Romsey travel to Alton, who have scored eleven goals in their last two home matches, and Stoneham are at home to Whitchurch who picked up four points from two games last weekend.

Fawley, beaten in their last two away matches, go down the A31 to Ringwood and bottom Club Follands, after a creditable showing at New Street on Thursday, journey to Downton.

Forgive the horse racing puns on Aintree weekend but we are entering the final straight and, given that the weather looks set fair for the next week, the going is improving (hopefully!!)