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Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Round-Up

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And so to the final Saturday of the Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Premier Division season when all should have been decided but it wasn’t – by a matter of seconds.

Moneyfields, two points ahead at the start of the day, looked to have stretched that to a title-winning four as a single goal gave them victory over Newport (IoW) with Portland United seemingly being held to a draw by Bemerton Heath Harlequins, but a Ryan McKechnie goal literally seconds from time gave the challengers three points and restored the status quo.

Now all will be decided by the result of an appeal to be held at the FA Headquarters at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday over the possibility of a three-point deduction from the Portsmouth side.

Whatever happens both clubs are to be complimented on their remarkable seasons.

At Gang Warily an Ash Tattersall hat-trick gave the revitalised Fareham Town victory over a Blackfield & Langley side that have fallen away in the last weeks of the season, so much so that the defeat cost them third place.

That went to Sholing, who defeated Team Solent in a rehearsal for the Southampton Senior Cup final.

Alresford Town, despite going down to Andover Town on the day, finished fifth and Horndean completed the top six after Mark Smith scored all three goals in the defeat of Bashley.

At the bottom Verwood Town, already down, lost 4-1 at home to AFC Portchester – Alex Baldachinno two – and Whitchurch United, who needed to score a lot of goals and see other results go their way to survive, went out with something of a whimper in losing 5-0 at Hamworthy United.

Steve Smith scored a hat-trick for the winners taking his tally to 28 for the season.

Fawley AFC did all they could possibly do by beating Brockenhurst but it was not enough as a Jordan Browne goal gave Cowes Sports victory over Amesbury Town and the Islanders another season in the top flight.

They also climbed above Amesbury in the table with the Wiltshire side, who had a wretched second half of the season surviving on an all be it healthy goal difference.

In the one remaining game in the Premier Division Lymington Town scored four without reply against Bournemouth FC.

Division One was sealed and settled before Saturday and in the sunshine at Hamble the champions Hamble Club went down 3-1 to a New Milton Town side who have improved considerably over the last two months of the campaign.

Second-placed Baffins Milton Rovers scored four without reply at Totton & Eling – two more goals for Ryan Pennery taking his total to 48 with a cup final still to come – while third-placed Shaftesbury topped that with a 7-1 demolition of Fleet Spurs with four goals for Danny Finnigan, Christchurch’s 2-2 draw East Cowes ensured them of fourth place with Ringwood Town taking fifth spot after a 3-1 win over Alton Town.

Laverstock & Ford, who surely will want to forget the last two months of the season, eventually finished sixth after losing at home to Tadley Calleva.

Downton gave departing manager Rae Hughes a send-off with a two-goal defeat of Andover New Street, whilst AFC Stoneham won by the odd goal in five against Folland Sports.

Bottom Club Pewsey Vale went down 3-0 at Romsey Town and US Portsmouth and Hythe & Dibden could not manage a goal between them at Burnaby Road.

Finally mention of Weymouth reserves, without a game, who finished in tenth place and were a credit to the league both on and off the field.

(Matt Richbell)

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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