Brockenhurst, Bashley, Hythe & Dibden, Blackfield & Langley and Christchurch in midweek Wessex League action
DESPITE heavy rain falling across much of the New Forest and Christchurch, five local Wessex League Premier sides completed midweek fixtures.
Brockenhurst picked up three points to move five clear at the top of the table, while Bashley smashed four unanswered goals past Hythe & Dibden to claim local bragging rights.
On the other side of the coin, Blackfield & Langley and Christchurch suffered defeats.
Brockenhurst defeated Portland United 4-0 away from home at the Weyline Stadium. However, it was far from plain sailing, with the scores level until the 54th minute when Silvano Obeng scored after a good run from James Shorey ended with the ball pinging across the area to the league’s top scorer.
Brockenhurst’s second came from an unlikely source, defender Patrick Wilson, who scored his second goal of the season after previously enduring a decade-long goal drought.
With seven minutes left, Portland opened up, looking to find a way back into the game, which allowed Obeng to slip in behind before lifting a delicate chip over keeper Mike Edgar.
The lethal marksman scored his 20th goal of the season with moments left to seal all three points.
There was a local clash at the Glen Mex Stadium as Bashley hit four first-half goals past Hythe & Dibden in the first Wessex League Premier meeting between the neighbours.
Hythe & Dibden have made a shocking start to the season, losing all but one of their 16 games while conceding a mammoth 74 goals. At the same time, Bashley sit fifth after coming through a terrible period of injuries.
In atrocious conditions, 126 brave souls watched Bashley take control right from the start, with an opening goal coming off the head of Lewis Aimson at the near post after a period of sustained pressure.
Ten minutes later, Harrison White intercepted a clearance on the edge of the box, and he preceded to flick the ball up and smash a spectacular volley into the net.
The third came from Harry Bunce, who picked up the ball before running down the flank and shooting across the keeper into the far corner.
The game’s best and final goal came in the 43rd minute from 16-year-old Bue Bennett. The prodigious talent received the ball on the halfway line and sprinted forward at full pace before lifting the ball over the head of the unfortunate Joe Hunt from 40 yards.
Playing under new management for the second time, the visitors adjusted their approach in the second half and restricted Bashley while fashioning the odd breakaway attack to belie their league position.
Christchurch continue to flounder under new manager Ben Hatch, who appears to be struggling to meld his almost entirely new squad together as the Priory outfit suffered a 6-2 loss to second-placed Fareham Town.
Priory have suffered a miserable start to the season with defeat coming in all but two of their games.
Christchurch made a bright start, and they took an early lead after four minutes when Brazilian striker Eder Batista found the back of the net. After that, however, it was all downhill from there, and Fareham equalised four minutes later when Archie Willcox headed in a corner before an own goal made it 2-1.
Fareham scored twice more through Charlie Cooper and Ethan Jones before Ryan Ashford pulled one back for Christchurch in the 80th minute.
Willcox added a fifth before Christchurch attempted to stem the flow by substituting keeper Ollie King for Ryan Thorpe. However, Ryan Mackney added a sixth to score Fareham’s 53rd goal in just 13 fixtures.
Blackfield & Langley’s three-game win streak ended with an unfortunate 1-0 defeat to Alton at the Enclosure in torrential rain.
Blackfield dominated much of the match, and many in attendance will still be wondering how Alton escaped with a clean sheet and all three points.
Both sides looked threatening, but Blackfield fashioned by far the better chances, with a blocked goal-bound volley drawing relieved exclamations from the Alton support.
Blackfield then struck the woodwork three times in five minutes with a series of shots as Alton held on by the skin of their teeth.
With an hour gone, Alton’s Jack Fowler blasted a shot at keeper Amadeusz Skrzyniarz. Unfortunately for the visitors, it fell invitingly to Rob Carr, who fired another shot at goal. The follow-up shot was blocked by remarkable defending, but the referee ruled the ball had crossed the line.
Blackfield continued to hold possession, but they were unable to score as Alton took all three points.