John Gorman’s Preview 21-04-18

It seems a long time ago now that the season started in the sunshine of late July/early August last year and it is now finishing in similarly bright sunshine. Just a shame about the rain in between.

The last full Saturday arrives with the title in each of the two Divisions still undecided along with the final relegation and promotion places. In the Premier Division Blackfield and Langley are perhaps favourites though they are six points behind Andover Town but have two games in hand and a far superior goal difference. Both have difficult games tomorrow with Andover completing their League season with a trip to third place Sholing, whilst Blackfield head for in form Baffins Milton Rovers who have won five of their last seven and shown considerable improvement since the mid-season change of management.

Hamworthy climbed in to fourth place in midweek with victory at Amesbury and now head for Fareham while Portchester, who dropped to fifth after their first defeat in five now, in turn, travel to Amesbury. The Wiltshire club need to win their three remaining games and hope Cowes lose all theirs to ensure safety – Cowes journey to Brockenhurst who have enjoyed a successful second half to the season. Horndean, in sixth place, welcome a Portland side probably already looking ahead to next season, and there should be a good afternoon at the Sports Ground where Lymington entertain Hamble Club. The visitors have won their last five matches and are seemingly scoring goals for fun led by Nathan Lynch who now has 45 goals for the season and thirteen in his last five outings.

Bemerton welcome Team Solent, who have become something of draw specialists of late, to Western Way, Bournemouth cross to Newport and Shaftesbury, who will be happy with their first season back in the top level, make the long journey to bottom place Petersfield.

In Division One Christchurch’s midweek defeat left them one point behind Andover New Street with both clubs having two games to play to complete their fixtures and Christchurch having the better goal difference. New Street entertain AFC Stoneham, always doughty opponents, whilst Christchurch welcome Downton to Hurn Bridge. US Portsmouth’s win at Christchurch on Wednesday kept their faint promotion hopes alive but one win for Tadley from their last two matches will ensure them third place. The North Hampshire Club, who have won their last six matches, meet Laverstock and Ford at Barlows Park while US Portsmouth are also on home ground with Alton the visitors.

Romsey, not in the best of form of late, host a Ringwood side who have won their last three while East Cowes Vics travel to League Cup Finalists Fawley. Totton and Eling, after a heavy defeat in midweek, head up ye A34 to Whitchurch leaving just the two bottom Clubs. Verwood visit Hythe and Dibden while Follands get the weekend off to an early start by hosting New Milton on Friday evening.

Will things be any clearer by five o’clock on Saturday?