Results & round up – Saturday August 4th

Premier Division
AFC Portchester 5-2. Team Solent
Bashley 2-0. Andover New Street
Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0-4  Sholing
Brockenhurst 1-1  Bournemouth
Cowes Sports 3-0 Hamworthy United
Horndean 0-2  Christchurch
Portland United 1-0  Alresford Town
Shaftesbury 0-0  Baffins Milton Rovers
Tadley Calleva 3-1  Fareham Town
Division One
Alton 2-2  Newport IoW
Andover Town 1-10  AFC Stoneham
Downton 0-2  U.S. Portsmouth
East Cowes Vics 2-2  Fawley AFC
Petersfield Town 1-3  Laverstock & Ford
Ringwood Town 1-1  Amesbury Town
Whitchurch United 0-1 Verwood Town

In weather totally unsuited to football, not to mention the effect it is having on pitches everywhere, the Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) season got underway with a full Premier Division Programme and a slightly reduced number of matches in Division One writes John Gorman.

The Premier Division got under way on Friday evening with an attendance of 160 at Hamble Club for the visit of Lymington Town. Last season’s encounter produced eight goals but this time round neither side could find the net and after a spirited ninety minutes both Clubs seemed happy with a point.

On to Saturday and Sholing were quick to show their title credentials with a four nil win at Bemerton, never the easiest place to get a point. Dan Mason was quickly back in the goal scoring groove with a hat trick and the evergreen Lee Wort claimed the fourth.  AFC Portchester were also among the goals on the opening day with a five two defeat of Team Solent and five different goal scorers, including new signings Mike Turvey and George Hallahan.

Brockenhurst and Bournemouth continued their long standing rivalry with honours even in a one all draw and there was a good win for Cowes Sports. The Islanders struggled last season but a three nil win over Hamworthy was a superb tonic. Ji Nash, moving up and across from East Cowes Vics, scored twice with John McKie adding the third. Apologies incidentally that in the Preview prior to Saturday it was suggested that this game was at Hamworthy. Close season rustiness could be claimed but journalistic incompetence is a better reason and it is hoped that nobody was inconvenienced by the error. Club stalwart Lewis Whyton scored the only goal of the game to give Portland all three points against Alresford at the Grove while Shaftesbury and Baffins Milton Rovers could not muster a goal between them in Dorset.

This just leaves the three promoted Clubs who managed two wins and a loss on day one. Christchurch gained a very praiseworthy win at Horndean courtesy of two goals from Scott Joyce, with both sides reduced to ten men in the course of the game, and Tadley came back from conceding a goal in the first minute to defeat Fareham Town three one at Barlows Park with Brett Denham almost inevitably among the scorers. Not such a good start for Andover New Street as their first game at his level saw them go down two nil at a very warm Bashley, a goal in each half giving the Foresters the points.

Division One also started on Friday evening with Romsey’s Kieran Hancock claiming the honour of the season’s opening goal with his side’s first in the three one defeat of Hythe and Dibden to get the Bypass Club up and running in what they hope will be a promotion quest. On Saturday another side who also have justifiable promotion ambitions are AFC Stoneham who commenced their season with a ten one rout of Andover Town at the Portway. Will Harris claimed four of the goals and Joe Sutherland scored a hat trick in the space of five second half minutes. Quite what is happening at Andover is difficult to understand. A very good side last season who deservedly won promotion that was then declined, they go down a Division rather than up and lose so heavily – after scoring first!

US Portsmouth made the long trip to Downton and returned home with the points after two first half goals and there were four goals at Beatrice Avenue. Newly signed Joe Butcher scored twice to give the Vics the lead but Fawley fought back after the break to share the points. Verwood, who to say the least, had a difficult season last time round battled the A31 and A34 to Whitchurch and an early goal from Matt Vining rewarded them with all three points.

The three Clubs relegated from the Premier Division notched up two draws and a defeat but Newport will no doubt be pleased with their point at Alton after coming back from two goals down to finish two all. Amesbury also secured a point in a one all draw at Ringwood but Petersfield went down three one at home to Laverstock and Ford. Luke Payne scored for the home side but unfortunately the Laverstock goal scorers have not been reported.

One Saturday down, umpteen to go.