Baffins and Portchester aiming to emulate Gosport Borough and Havant Town’s FA Vase achievements
Baffins Milton and AFC Portchester are this weekend aiming to take another step towards trying to become the first Portsmouth area club to progress beyond the quarter finals of the FA Vase.
None of the region’s current five Wessex clubs have ever got past the fourth round - the stage Baffins reached in only their second Vase campaign last season.
Fareham have entered the Vase every season since 1998/99, but have never progressed beyond the third round. They have twice reached that stage, in 2003/04 and 2004/05.
Horndean reached the third round in 2012/13 and 2017/18, losing to fellow Wessex League clubs Bemerton (0-5) and Hamble Club (1-2) respectively.
The best Portchester have managed in nine seasons is two third round appearances - in 2014/15 and 2015/16. They were rewarded with home draws in both seasons but lost to Blackfield and Tunbridge respectively.
US Portsmouth, meanwhile, have only reached the first round three times in 16 seasons, and only once - in 2014/15 - have they reached the second. On that occasion they were beaten 3-1 at home by Portchester.
The last local club to enjoy a better Vase run than Baffins last season was Gosport Borough. During the club’s Wessex League days, Borough reached the fifth round in 2003/04 - losing 3-0 at Devonians Bideford.
Prior to that, Gosport also reached the quarter finals in 1976/77 - beating Havant Town en route - before losing in a replay to Barton Rovers.
Havant Town also reached the last eight, in 1985/86, before crashing 5-1 at home to Wisbech.
Baffins managed to reach the third round in their debut Vase season in 2017/18, losing 4-1 at Horley.
Last season they won through five rounds - including a 14-1 blitzing of New College Swindon in the second qualifying round - en route to a 3-1 loss at eventual finalists Cray Valley Paper Mills.
Tommy Leigh scored four times as the hosts ran out 14-1 winners in a second round qualifying tie against New College Swindon.