No raining on Clanfield parade

Share this article
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

Have your say

Clanfield beat the weather to return to winning ways in the Hampshire Premier League on Saturday.

They claimed a 1-0 victory over Liphook at Peel Park courtesy of an Elliott Sills strike.

The 73rd-minute goal – his 19th of the season – brought an end to a five-game losing sequence and moved Clanfield back into third place in the table.

Boss Stuart Wallis is now hoping for a grandstand finish to the season.

‘It wasn’t a classic but we ground out the win we needed,’ he said.

‘The previous five games were all lost by a single goal and it is nice to reverse the trend.

‘We had a bit of luck, though, with Liphook missing a couple of chances when the game was still goalless.’

Sills scored with a left-foot shot on the turn after good work by Gary Buckley on the flank.

The striker has provided the main cutting edge up front for Clanfield this season but a lack of goals from other areas has held them back.

After an excellent start to the campaign, Wallis’ side looked as though they could make a challenge for the title.

But after a defeat by AFC Stoneham just before Christmas was followed by a month-long lay-off because of the weather, Clanfield fell away.

‘We didn’t really get going again,’ said Wallis.

‘All the other top sides seem to have two or three players who regularly get on the scoresheet which is something we have lacked.

‘We have competed well against the other top sides and twice lost to leaders Locks Heath by a single goal.

‘Our aim now is to make sure we finish in the top four.’

Wallis believes the Hampshire Premier League is getting stronger every year and is looking forward to the proposed merger with the Hampshire League 2004.

He believes the partnership will be a step towards returning the county game to a position of strength.

‘All the top teams in our league could easily hold their own in the Wessex League first division,’ said Wallis.

‘We are happy where we are, though – there is a lot of good football being played.

‘I can understand why the FA introduced ground grading for the leagues at Wessex level.

‘But having to make a lot of improvements was like a noose around the neck of lots of clubs.’