AT a time of year when many clubs have got nothing but pride left to play for, Blackfield & Langley are a shining exception to the rule.

Well placed for a promotion push from the Sydenhams Premier Division, Glenn Howes’ Watersiders now have the Hampshire FA Senior Cup final to look forward to – and are still in the hunt for the Sydenhams Wessex and Southampton Senior cups.

“We’ve got two more semi-finals to play. There are not too many clubs who’ve got that sort of end of the season. It’s where you want to be,” purred co-assistant boss Chris Farrell.

“Glenn (Howes) has really come to the fore as manager and, from a personal perspective, this is probably the most enjoyable season I’ve had at the club since winning the league five years ago.

“There are no egos in the dressing room, the players are all level-headed and they’re all playing for the management.”

Although Blackfield’s Senior Cup winner at Winchester City on Tuesday was a bit of a freak goal, there was nothing freakish about the quality of their defending against their Southern League superiors in a solid 1-0 win.

“Rudy Plummer had a shot that was going 20 yards wide and it’s hit Joe Butcher and gone in,” said Farrell.

“Winchester kindly video all their home games and we’d spent a couple of hours watching them.

“We knew they’d put the ball in the box at every opportunity and we knew we had to defend it, which is exactly what we did. If there’s one thing we’ve excelled at this season, it’s keeping clean sheets.

“To get to the most prestigious cup final in the county is no mean feat for a Wessex League club, considering the sides that enter it, but the league is the most important thing for us,” he stressed.

“Our ultimate aim is to get promoted and we’ve got a massive game at home to AFC Portchester on Saturday (3pm).

“We’ve beaten Portchester twice, in the league and Hampshire Cup, but that means nothing.

"They’re a very good side on a very good run and they’ve just signed Dan Wooden (from Moneyfields) who’s a very good player, so they’ll come here with aspirations to win the game.”

With leaders Andover having faltered in recent weeks, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that third-placed Blackfield - nine points behind with a game in hand – could yet reel them in.

They made steps in the right direction, beating Town 3-1 last month thanks to Franklyn Clarke (2) and Liam Robinson.

But Farrell insisted: “What Andover do is none of our business. “We played them and we beat them and that’s all we can do.”

Blackfield and AFC Portchester will go head-to-head once again at Gang Warily on Tuesday evening in the semi-finals of the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup (7.45pm).