Fleetlands renew acquaintances with striker who ‘ripped us to shreds’ last month in Hampshire League Cup tie

Fleetlands boss Rich Bessey is under no illusions as to the importance of his side’s next two Hampshire Premier League games.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:57 pm
Fleetland players react after conceding another goal during their 5-2 Hampshire Premier League Cup loss to Colden Common last month. Picture: Keith Woodland

The Gosport-based club host in-form Colden Common this weekend before another home clash with Bessey’s former club Paulsgrove on February 1.

Six points will go a long way towards clinching a top three place that could result in promotion to the Wessex League.

Common are unbeaten in 12 league and cup games, though, winning their last six. Indeed, they have not lost on a Saturday since Fleetlands beat them 2-1 way back on August 10 - the second weekend of the season.

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‘Colden Common and Paulsgrove are big games for us,’ said Bessey.

‘At the start of the season I was aiming for top four, now I’m aiming for the top three.’

Bessey is fully aware, though, of the dangers Common present - especially 32-goal striker Sam Adams.

Just before Christmas Adams struck four times as Fleetlands were thumped 5-2 in the HPL Cup quarter finals on a 3G surface at Bridgemary School.

‘Sam Adams is strong, he’s 6 ft 2, and he ripped us to shreds in the League Cup,’ recalled Bessey.

‘Our defence didn’t play that well but he was unbelievably good.

‘If there aren’t clubs from a higher division looking at him I’d be surprised.’

In all, Adams has struck five hat-tricks this season and is the second highest marksman in the HPL top flight behind Infinity’s Jamie White.

But Fleetlands boast the joint third-highest scorer, Matt Andrews, who is aiming to score for the sixth game running.

Elsewhere, it’s top v bottom as HPL title favourites Infinity travel to struggling Chamberlayne.

Infinity are still protecting an unbeaten record, while Chamberlayne have lost their last nine league games - their last point came on September 7 when they won at Stockbridge.

But Infinity only beat Chamberlayne 4-2 at home in August thanks to two goals from White and sub Kevin Cutter in the last 20 minutes.

In Division 1 of the HPL, table-toppers Moneyfields aim to extend their 100 per cent start to 11 matches with victory at lowly Upham.