Brockenhurst exit Wessex League Cup while Ringwood win, Totton & Eling draw and losses for Blackfield & Langley, Christchurch, New Milton and Fawley
IT WAS a challenging round of midweek fixtures for local Wessex League sides, with only Ringwood Town and Totton & Eling avoiding defeat.
After a hard-fought 2-2 draw, Brockenhurst suffered a penalty shootout loss to Fareham Town while exiting the Wessex League Cup third round.
Christchurch and Blackfield & Langley suffered Wessex League Premier defeats at the hands of AFC Stoneham and Horndean, respectively.
In Wessex League Division One, Ringwood defeated Verwood Town 3-1, and Totton & Eling drew 1-1 with East Cowes Victoria. The remaining sides, New Milton Town and Fawley AFC, both lost.
Brockenhurst's match started quickly, with defender Joe Chamberlain clearing a shot off the line before James Mayo produced a remarkable double save after just three minutes.
With 36 minutes gone, Fareham looked dangerous, and another goal-line clearance, this time from Ronan Moore, was needed to preserve the clean sheet.
When the opening goal came, it went the way of the Badgers, with Christie Ward slamming home a brilliant half-volleyed effort off Moore's corner. However, the lead lasted just 60 seconds when Ash Tattersall equalised.
Ward claimed his brace 10 minutes after the break with a fantastic finish off a Matt Sheedy assist. Unfortunately for the hosts, a late leveller from Charlie Cooper forced the match into extra-time and then penalties.
While the Badgers missed only one spot-kick, Fareham were perfect and moved into the next round with a 5-4 shootout victory.
Blackfield made a brilliant start and took an early lead against Horndean, who battled back to win 4-1 and move to the top of the table.
Horndean have the best goals-per-game average across the 15-step five non-league divisions and hold the fourth-best defensive record. However, Sami Makhloufi fired Blackfield ahead inside three minutes with a stunning curling strike to take a deserved lead.
Horndean adjusted well and battled back to seal the win thanks to Zack Willett and Connor Duffin, who each scored braces.
Christchurch suffered a five-goal defeat to sixth-placed AFC Stoneham, as the Priory conceded five or more goals for the ninth time this season.
The opener came after 15 minutes when Callum Laycock beat the centre backs for pace before lifting the ball over the keeper's head and into the back of the net.
For the rest of the match, it was one-way traffic with further strikes coming from Scott Hills, Duarte Martins, and Jake Thomson with two.
Ringwood Town defeated Verwood 3-1 after the hosts had battled back to level, with the New Forest side's goals coming from a Harry Smith brace and Harrison Clarke.
In a competitive opening 20 minutes, both sides struck the woodwork, with neither taking control. However, aside from James Guthrie's equaliser, Richard Morse's men did not have too much to worry them.
Totton & Eling let two points slip after East Cowes Victoria scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot with just three minutes left.
Alex Sawyer scored the opener after a good through ball from Jamie Blackburn, the striker beating the defender before nicking the ball past the keeper. Then, with the end of the match looming, Ryan Gregory converted from the penalty spot to rescue a point.
New Milton lost 2-0 to Millbrook, with Dockers' goals coming from Ben Baddams and Noel McCarthy-Gardiner, while Folland Sports beat Fawley 6-0.