Rich Bessey refusing to rule out Fleetlands title push
Rich Bessey has refused to rule out Fleetlands being crowned Hampshire Premier League Senior Division champions this season.
The fourth-placed Coptermen ran out emphatic 6-3 winners over Lyndhurst to close the gap on leaders Bush Hill to five points on Saturday.
Fleetlands took full advantage of the table-toppers and second-placed Infinity dropping points as they drew 2-2 in their top-of-the-table battle.
Bessey was delighted Fleetlands moved closer to the top two and Paulsgrove – in third – as they look to mount a title challenge.
Although admitting winning the league was not a target this season, the Fleetlands boss believes it could be achievable this season.
Bessey said: ‘That result was everything I asked for. (the draw 2-2 between Bush Hill and Infinity)
‘We got the three points and they drew, so I was very happy.
‘Two points dropped means we closed the gap.
‘We’ve beaten Bush Hill, we’ve drawn with Infinity and we beat Paulsgrove in the cup and drew with them in the league.
‘If we win all of our games now, we could finish on top.
‘It’s not somewhere we were aiming to be at the beginning of the season.
‘Our aim was simple, top four.
‘But, to be honest, we could be looking at climbing up a bit further than that.’
Despite a flattering scoreline in Fleetlands’ favour, it was not all plain sailing against Lyndhurst.
Chris Pye struck a minute after the restart to pull the visitors level after Jamie Hall had opened the scoring in the first half.
However, efforts from Matt Andrews, Tommy Woodward, Luke Heard and an own-goal in the space of 14 second half minutes put Fleetlands in command.
Tega Tonigho struck twice in the final 15 minutes to pull it back to 5-3 before Brad Stone added a sixth for the hosts late on.
Bessey added: ‘It looks good on paper but it was a bit of an iffy performance.
‘We asked to get the three points in order to close the gap on Paulsgrove, which we did.
‘Overall, it was good.
‘But we’re still rusty and nowhere near our best.
‘We’re quite fortunate that we’re not playing any of the top sides at the moment.
‘But we got the win and we move on another week.’