AFC Portchester, Horndean and Fareham handed home advantage for Wessex League openers

AFC Portchester, Horndean and Fareham Town will all enjoy home advantage on the opening day of the Sydenhams Wessex League season on Saturday, August 3.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 3:07 pm
AFC Portchester boss Mick Catlin Picture: Keith Woodland

The Royals open up at home against Shaftesbury looking for a big improvement on last season's disappointing campaign.

They began the season with ambitions of promotion but fell well short of those expectations.

There will be a lot of pressure on manager Mick Catlin to deliver this time around because the club are ambitious to climb the non-league pyramid.

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Horndean, runners-up last season, and manager Michael Birmingham will be wanting nothing less from his side again.

They face a tough opener against Lymington Town at Five Heads Park in what is regarded by many as the match of the day.

Manager Pete Styles is hoping to avoid many of the struggles he faced last season at Fareham Town.

If he can put a regular side out then the Reds should make progress.

They entertain Bournemouth Poppies in their first game.

Baffins Milton Rovers will travel to newly-promoted Amesbury Town for their first encounter.

In division one, United Services Portsmouth visit relegated Andover New Street.

Petersfield Town are also on the road to Laverstock & Ford.

Meanwhile, Baffins have been handed a tough opening to their defence of the Wessex League Cup.

Steve Leigh's side lifted the trophy by beating Portland United in last season's final.

The second-round draw sends them to Bashley, which is never an easy place to get a result.

Horndean have a first-round tie at Cowes.

And if they win that will face Isle of Wight opposition again in the shape of Newport at Five Heads Park.

Fareham will enjoy home comforts against Christchurch, while AFC Portchester journey to AFC Tadley.

United Services Portsmouth will welcome Folland Sports to the Victory Stadium.

Sydenhams Wessex League opening fixtures

Friday, August 2 Division one Fawley AFC v Downton

Saturday August 3 Premier division AFC Portchester v Shaftesbury AFC Stoneham v Portland United Alresford Town v Cowes Sports Amesbury Town v Baffins Milton Rovers Bashley v Fleet Town Brockenhurst v Tadley Calleva Fareham Town v Bournemouth Hamble Club v Christchurch Horndean v Lymington Town Solent University v Hamworthy UnitedDivision one Alton v Pewsey Vale Andover New Street v US Portsmouth Andover Town v Totton & Eling Bemerton Heath Harlequins v New Milton Town Hythe & Dibden v Whitchurch United Laverstock & Ford v Petersfield Town Newport IoW v Verwood Town Ringwood Town v East Cowes Vics Romsey Town v Folland Sports

Wessex League Cup draw

First round AFC Stoneham v Alton Alresford Town v Laverstock & Ford Cowes Sports v Horndean East Cowes Vics v New Milton Town Fawley AFC v Lymington Town Petersfield Town v Verwood Town Romsey Town v Hamworthy United Totton & Eling v Solent University

Second round Amesbury Town v Petersfield Town/Verwood Town Bashley v Baffins Milton Rovers Bemerton Heath Harlequins v Andover Town Bournemouth v Downton Brockenhurst v East Cowes Vics/New Milton Town Cowes Sports/Horndean v Newport IoW Fareham Town v Christchurch Hamble Club v Pewsey Vale Hythe & Dibden v Ringwood Town Portland United v Fleet Town Romsey Town/Hamworthy United v Alresford Town/Laverstock & Ford Shaftesbury v AFC Stoneham/Alton Tadley Calleva v AFC Portchester Totton & Eling/Solent University v Andover New Street US Portsmouth v Folland Sports Whitchurch United v Fawley AFC/Lymington Town