Super sub Dale Holmes nets four in record-breaking Meon Milton win

Substitute Dale Holmes struck four times as Meon Milton romped to the biggest win of their fledgling Hampshire Premier League career.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 10:16 am
Dale Holmes (centre, going down on one knee) heads one of his four goals against AFC Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn
Dale Holmes (centre, going down on one knee) heads one of his four goals against AFC Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn

The former US Portsmouth striker played a starring role as Meon hammered Division 1 South East cellar dwellers 10-0 at Cockleshell Gardens.

Top scorer Connor Mansfield took his seasonal tally to 13 with a hat-trick as Meon romped to their fifth successive league and cup win.

Player-boss Bickram Singh, Jagjit Singh and Dan Edwards were also on target against Netley side suffering their 11th successive league loss.

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Dale Holmes forces the ball in from close range for one of his four goals against Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn

By a quirk of the fixture list, Meon face Netley again this Saturday in their final game of a memorable 2021 which saw them complete a Mid-Solent League and cup double prior to stepping up into county football.

The new year will also bring two cup ties, with Meon’s first game of 2022 taking place on the Isle of Wight.

There they face Bembridge - third in the Isle of Wight League - for a place in the quarter-finals of the Hampshire FA Trophy.

A week later, on January 15, Meon bid for a place in the semi-finals of the Hampshire Premier League Cup. They have been drawn away to Headley, who play in Division 1 North.

Dale Holmes ends up in the back of the net after scoring one of his four goals against Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn

‘It’s going alright, not too bad,’ stated ex-Gosport Borough and Moneyfields midfielder Bickram Singh when asked to sum up the season so far.

‘I haven’t set any targets, we’ll just prep for each game.

‘I knew they (Netley) were near the bottom so I told the players I wanted to see a good attitude. They showed that - it could have been 20-0.

‘We’re a new squad and we’re still finding our feet.’

Dale Holmes, left, scores again against Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn

Meon’s stand-out result so far was a 2-1 HPL Cup victory over higher tier Fleetlands at Cockleshell Gardens. It was even more impressive given Milton ended with just nine men after the manager and Frankie Scott had been dismissed.

Meon had lost 4-1 to Fleetlands a few weeks earlier in the Portsmouth Senior Cup, and Singh remarked: ‘We were the better team that day, we should have won. But we didn’t take our chances, we missed a penalty …’

Meon’s reserves, formed last summer and playing in the Mid-Solent League top flight, also found form last weekend.

Connor Smith (3), Barry Jeans (2), Taylor Hanson and Chris Darby netted in a 7-2 victory over lowly Portchester Rovers.

Connor Mansfield scores one of his three goals against Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn

That win left Milton one point behind leaders Mob Albion, having played two games more, ahead of their clash with the table-toppers this weekend.

‘We’re getting fitter and we’re improving as a squad,’ said Singh. ‘We’re all one squad - it’s not ‘this is one team and that’s another one’. The players in the reserves could easily play in the first team.

‘The reserve team are doing alright, but I think they could be doing better with the players they have got.’

Meon Milton score again against Netley. Picture: Andy Nunn