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Midweek football round-up: Hythe & Dibden seal spot-kick victory, AFC Totton return to winning ways, while New Milton Town, Christchurch, Blackfield & Langley and Fawley all play





AS the weather began to dry up, many local sides pulled on their boots, and AFC Totton and Hythe & Dibden’s victories were the highlights of the midweek games.

The Stags returned to winning ways against Plymouth Parkway, while Hythe & Dibden secured a Russell Cotes Cup semi-final spot after a penalty shootout victory over AFC Portchester.

Although Christchurch lost again, there were many interested observers, with Harry Redknapp, the nephew of former Liverpool player and Twynham School pupil Jamie and grandson of former AFC Bournemouth manager Harry, making his debut.

AFC Bournemouth Academy player Harry Redknapp made his Christchurch debut (Photo: @JustinParryPho1)
AFC Bournemouth Academy player Harry Redknapp made his Christchurch debut (Photo: @JustinParryPho1)

Meanwhile, New Milton Town drew with Clanfield, Blackfield & Langley lost a razor-close contest with Portland United, and Fawley left empty-handed after falling to East Cowes Victoria.

The Stags lost at the weekend after stringing together a 13-game unbeaten streak, but they found their groove with a 2-0 home win over Plymouth Parkway.

The Stags broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half when Juan Luque cut back to Tony Lee, who whipped it past Adam Parkes into the bottom corner.

A tussle broke out between the two sides after AFC Totton’s Luke Bennett delivered a late challenge, resulting in him and Callum Rose seeing yellow.

Substitute Matty Burrows added some energy, and when he was brought down in the box in the 82nd minute, Scott Rendell slotted the penalty to double the lead.

AFC Totton's Scott Rendell sealed the win from the penalty spot against Plymouth Parkway (Photo: Craig Hobbs Photography)
AFC Totton's Scott Rendell sealed the win from the penalty spot against Plymouth Parkway (Photo: Craig Hobbs Photography)

Christchurch took to the field – fresh from a 7-0 thrashing at the weekend – and after struggling to a three-goal deficit early on, they improved and competed well.

With a new signing – Redknapp, the 17-year-old defender on loan from AFC Bournemouth Academy – at centre-back, the hosts took a while to settle down, and Sherborne Town debutant Leighton Thomas capitalised with a first-half hat trick.

Despite finishing without a goal, Church created decent chances, with the Zebras having to hack the ball off their line twice in the first half before Nassim Meddah missed a decent one-on-one chance just after the break.

Derick Ewang came off the bench and seemed to be involved in every attack, causing panic in the visitors, but a belief-igniting goal never came, and the match ended 3-0.

Hythe took on third-placed Portchester in the cup, and they came from behind twice before storming to a shootout victory.

James Cowen found a way past Luke Deacon just four minutes into the game, but technical player Luke Gray showed his class, slotting accurately to level after 24 minutes.

Hythe could have taken the lead at the end of the first 45, but an excellent finger-tip save denied them, before Josh Benfield scored after the restart.

Hythe pushed for the leveller and it came when Ben Slade slammed home to send the match to penalties.

Hythe & Dibden's Luke Gray scored his side’s first equaliser against AFC Portchester (Photo: Brian Rossiter)
Hythe & Dibden's Luke Gray scored his side’s first equaliser against AFC Portchester (Photo: Brian Rossiter)

From the spot, Hythe were perfect, scoring all four attempts, while keeper Deacon saved their second after a wayward first attempt missed the target, sending his side into raptures.

New Milton Town have been in terrific form recently, and they moved a point closer to safety after a 1-1 draw with eighth-placed Clanfield.

In a game with plenty of chances at both ends, with the Linnets hitting the crossbar twice and the post, Jack Kinge-Phillips scored for New Milton, while Jake Knight found the host’s goal.

After only losing once in the last seven games while scoring a highly impressive 14 points, the Linnets are now 10 points off league survival.

Sixth-placed Portland United took all three points against Blackfield & Langley despite Jamie Blackburn and Josh Rose scoring.

Meanwhile, Fawley had a miserable trip home from the Isle of Wight after losing 1-0 to East Cowes Victoria.



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