‘Sweeney’ Todd … the demon goalscorer for US Portsmouth!

Former Wessex League title winner Andy Todd grabbed all four goals as US Portsmouth moved three points clear at the top of Division 1.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 7:42 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 12:49 pm
Andy Todd (orange) pictured in action during his days at AFC Portchester. Picture: Neil Marshall

Todd had missed out on a hat-trick at Romsey Town a fortnight earlier, missing a late penalty after earlier netting twice.

But there was no such worries this time as he struck a first-half treble in a 4-0 home win over Andover Town.

That took his tally to seven in five league starts for Glenn Turnbull’s high-fliers, who were missing injured top scorer James Franklyn.

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‘Signing ‘Sweeney’ (Todd) is not one for the long term,’ said the boss.

‘He’s nearer the end of his career than the beginning.

‘It’s like when Pompey brought in players like Paul Merson to get them out of the Championship … that’s the sort of thought process we had about bringing in ‘Sweeney’

‘But he’s just been told he’s got an 18-month shore posting, so he’ll be with us next season.

‘And hopefully our younger strikers will watch and learn a lot from him - the likes of Freddy Nancarrow, Dom Sibley and George Root.’

Todd was taken off after scoring his fourth early in the second half, with Sibley and Moneyfields loanee Root both getting much-needed game time.

Todd’s goal rush had started when he headed in an Elliott Turnbull corner, with Tom Cain’s pass setting him up for his second.

The man whose goals helped Petersfield win the Wessex League in 2014/15 completed his hat-trick when Dec Seiden’s cross left him with an empty net to head into.

He grabbed his fourth after a Harry Bedford shot had been deflected, leaving him another simple effort from close range.

US Portsmouth’s reserves are also top of their league.

They moved nine points clear of Tadley at the head of the Wyvern Combination East division with a 5-2 win over Liss Athletic.

Minus top scorers Nancarrow (injury) and Sibley (with the first team) - and with the experienced Jay Ripiner also injured - Luke Smith netted twice for the second week running.

The previous week USP had thrashed Liphook’s second string 10-0 - the third time in six league games they had smashed double figures.

Josh Smith, Phil Archbold and sub Ray Butler also scored.

Butler had come on early after debutant Archie Chittenden suffered a pulled hamstring.

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Justin Bennett moved ever closer to a half-century of goals this season as Bemerton Heath moved into second place in Division 1 of the Wessex League.

The Gosport Borough legend scored his 47th league and cup goal of 2019/20 as Bemerton defeated Laverstock 1-0 in the Wiltshire derby.

Bemerton will actually displace USP in top spot on Tuesday night by virtue of a better goal difference if they can beat fellow high-fliers Downton by five goals or more.

They will, though, have played two games more than USP.

In a remarkably tight promotion race - the top six are separated by just six points - fifth-placed Andover New Street remain title favourites.

They are five points adrift of USP but have three games in hand following a 4-1 victory at East Cowes at the weekend.