The top 20 non-league games of the local grassroots football season – part 1

Prior to all football in the UK being suspended to due to Covid-19, our local non-league teams had taken part in some great games - some with remarkable scorelines, some with remarkable performances. This is the first of a two-part feature remembering 20 of the best games of a season which will, for all the wrong reasons now, never be forgotten ...

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:43 am
Luke Slade on his way to scoring one of his four goals in Fareham's 7-1 destruction of Wessex leaders Alresford. Picture: Keith Woodland.
Luke Slade on his way to scoring one of his four goals in Fareham's 7-1 destruction of Wessex leaders Alresford. Picture: Keith Woodland.

August 10 - Gosport Borough 3 Taunton Town 0

Southern Premier League South: Lee Molyneaux started his managerial reign with a superb win over a Taunton side expected to figure in the promotion race. Theo Lewis scored after just three minutes on his debut and George Barker and Marley Ridge added further goals in the second half. It remains Gosport’s highest league win of the season and, in 32 subsequent league game’s Borough have only scored three or more goals twice more.

September 7 - Bush Hill 0 Fleetlands 2

James Franklyn struck a hat-trick as US Portsmouth defeated highly-fancied Bemerton 3-0 to go top of the Wessex League in October. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Hampshire Premier League Senior Division: Matt Andrews, above right, scored twice as Fleetlands won 2-0 at reigning HPL champions Bush Hill. It remains the Southampton-based club’s only league defeat of 2019/20 - indeed, they have only lost one more game in normal time in 24 league and cup matches since - while Andrews is currently the second top scorer in the HPL top flight in terms of league goals with 25.

September 28 - Wealdstone 1 Hawks 4

National League South: Leaders Wealdstone had won their previous nine NLS games before Hawks secured a stunning victory - one of 11 on their league travels this season as they remain the only club in the top six tiers of English football not to lose away. Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell, Jonah Ayunga and sub Alfie Rutherford were on target for Paul Doswell’s awayday specialists. Wealdstone have only dropped six points in 17 home games this term - that’s how impressive this Hawks win was.

October 9 - Portsmouth Senior Cup

Matt Andrews, right, struck twice as Fleetlands inflicted on Bush Hill their only loss of the Hampshire Premier League season so far. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Portsmouth Senior Cup: Two divisions lower Infinity came within seconds of causing a cup upset at Wessex Premier side Baffins. They led three times through Jamie White, Kev Cutter and Josh Cripps with Tommy Scutt (2) and Blu Boam levelling. Baffins won 4-2 on penalties with keeper Cameron Scott saving from White and Callum Parker and also netting a spot-kick himself.

October 12 - Paulsgrove 5 Liphook 5

Hampshire Premier League Senior Division: In a game featuring eight second half goals, Paulsgrove trailed 5-3 with just a few minutes remaining before Adam Fisher converted a penalty and sub Josh Parry levelled. Paulsgrove led 2-1 before falling 2-4 and 3-5 behind. James Hird (2) and Moulay Ousman were also on target for Grove with Marco Sellitto netting a hat-trick for the visitors.

October 21 - Melksham 4 Moneyfields 6

Connor Bailey, right, scored twice as Moneyfields came from 1-4 down to win 6-4 at Melksham in October. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Southern League Division 1 South: Moneys trailed 4-1 at half-time before a remarkable burst of five goals in 21 minutes gave them a sensational victory. Steve Hutchings struck on 53 and 54 minutes before Lewis Fennemore levelled on 57. Conor Bailey then struck in the 61st and 66th minutes. Jake Raine had given Moneys an early lead in Wiltshire before the hosts hit back. It was the first time Moneys had ever scored six goals in a league game since winning promotion from the Wessex League in 2017.

October 22 - US Portsmouth 3 Bemerton Heath 0

Wessex League Division 1: US Portsmouth replaced pre-season title favourites Bemerton at the top of the table with a superb midweek victory. Playmaker and talisman James Franklyn struck a hat-trick - goals coming in the 17th ,63rd and 88th minutes. Completing a miserable night for the visitors, Gosport Borough legend Justin Bennett - Bemerton’s top scorer this season with 47 league and cup goals - was sent off for violent conduct midway through the second half.

October 26 - Fareham 7 Alresford 1

Denmead keeper Prad Bains saved three penalties in the Portsmouth Senior Cup slaying of AFC Portchester. Picture: Keith Woodland

Wessex League Premier Division: Arguably the outstanding result of the Wessex League season so far, former Paulsgrove players Luke Slade (4) and Josh Benfield (2) led an extraordinary rout of table-topping Alresford at Cams Alders. In rainswept conditions, the visitors had actually taken the lead through ex-Gosport midfielder Mike Gosney. Fareham defender Will Harris completed the Reds’ scoring.

October 26 - Cowplain 5 Wymering 17

Mid-Solent League: The highest-scoring game in 2019/20 across any of the Portsmouth area’s main adult Saturday leagues. Brad White led the Wymering goal spree with eight - and when the teams met again in January he struck six more times in a 13-1 success.

November 6 - AFC Portchester 3 Denmead 3

Portsmouth Senior Cup: Goalkeeper Prad Bains saved three penalties in a shoot-out as three divisions lower Denmead - who were playing Meon Valley Sunday League football a few months earlier - stunned Wessex Premier club AFC Portchester. Danny Lucas (2) and Ryan Harrison had netted for the Hampshire Premier League underdogs in normal time, with Patrik Hnath, Steve Ramsey and Jordan Brooks replying. Hampshire Premier League Division 1 outfit Denmead were supposed to play four divisions higher Moneyfields in the quarter final, but that tie now looks unlikely to take place.

The second part of this feature will cover games from November 7 to the present day.