Magpies still sitting pretty

Kevin Gibbens

Kevin Gibbens

First published in Non League Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Non-league football reporter

ALRESFORD Town held onto top spot in the Sydenhams Premier Division last night with a 3-0 home triumph over AFC Portchester.

With ex-Arsenal and England winger Graham Rix joining their coaching staff last week, Portchester had pulled off an impressive 2-1 win at Christchurch on Saturday.

But despite dominating the early stages of last night’s game possession-wise, they had no answer to Alresford’s awesome firepower.

Warren Bentley scored on the break to put the Magpies ahead against the run of play, leaving Joe Wright and Zach Glasspool to finish the job in the second half.

“Credit to Portchester, they played in our half for most of the opening 20 min utes and showed plenty of endeavour. Simon Woods was very lively up front,” said Alresford co-boss Danny Robinson.

“But (co-manager) Tim Cole got it spot on tactically for us at half-time and we bossed the second half.

“We’re just happy to keep a clean sheet.”

Downton remain three points behind Alresford in second following a 3-1 win at Hayling United.

But creeping up in third are Blackfield & Langley who, after a couple of midweek slip-ups, brushed Alton Town aside 4-0 at Gang Warily.

Ex-Saints defender Mike Byrne, who had scored the Watersiders’ late winner in a 2-1 result at Fareham Town on Saturday, this time got victory under way with just seven minutes gone.

Max Crow, Brandon Goodship and Nathan Lynch did the rest as Blackfield embarked on a demanding run of four home games in the space of eight days.

The Watersiders host Horndean tomorrow (Thursday), Bournemouth Poppies on Saturday and Totton & Eling next Tuesday.

Co-assistant boss Glenn Burnett said: “We were professional tonight, we worked hard and we passed the ball well.

“We’ve had a bit of blip, but we’ve got ourselves back on track.

“We rested Kev Gibbens and Alex Baldacchino tonight and we’re going have to look after the players because we’ve got a lot of games coming up.”

Blackfield are five points behind the leaders with four games in hand and Alresford co-boss Robinson acknowl edged: “They’ve got bags and bags of quality. But we can only affect what we do. If Blackfield go on a massive run and win their games in hand, fair play to them.”

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