The young Hawk who is helping the Magpies to soar …!

Hawks striker Ollie Dennett was among the scorers as Alresford ended AFC Stoneham’s superb run to return to the top of the Wessex League Premier Division season.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 10:57 am
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 1:57 pm
Ollie Dennett pictured during a rare Hawks outing last month at Gosport Borough in the Hampshire Senior Cup. Picture courtesy of Hawks.

The youngster - whose only National League South outing for Paul Doswell’s men was as a sub at Hampton & Richmond last August - has been in fine form since joining the Magpies on loan last month until the end of the season.

He struck a hat-trick on his Alresford debut at Tadley and his weekend strike against Stoneham was his eighth in six league games. He has also netted twice in two Aldershot Senior Cup ties.

Top scorer Craig Harding - with his 21st goal of the season - and Duarte Martins (with his 14th) also netted as Stoneham’s 15-match unbeaten league run (13 wins and two draws) was ended with a 3-1 home loss.

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Former Fareham and US Portsmouth striker Callum Laycock replied for the Purples late on.

Alresford are now two points ahead of Stoneham, but have played a game more.

AFC Portchester, on the back of four straight wins, remain seven points adrift but with two games in hand.

The team who could yet overtake all of the top three, however, are Christchurch.

This coming weekend’s visitors to Portchester are currently fifth, but would go top if they won all their games in hand.

After finishing 16th out of 20 last season, Christchurch have already banked more points from 22 games this term (48) than they did in 38 games (46) last season.

Alresford and Portchester - 12th and 13th respectively in 2018/19 with 50 points each - have also achieved a similar landmark.

Christchurch have rattled off four straight wins without conceding a goal - the latest a 4-0 home win over Fleet.

That was only the Priory’s ninth home league game of the season - Portchester and Alresford have played 14 - and most of their games in hand are on a pitch where they haven’t been beaten in a league game in 2019/20.

One thing is for certain - a new name will almost certainly be inscribed on the list of Wessex League top flight winners come April.

That’s because none of the top nine have ever won the top flight title before.

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Alresford aim to become the first club through to the Wessex League Cup semi-finals on Tuesday. They welcome Hamble Club to Arlebury Park.

The other two known last eight ties are Totton & Eling v Portland (Feb 18) and Christchurch v Bournemouth (Feb 25).

Holders Baffins Milton are scheduled to host Brockenhurst this Wednesday for the right to host AFC Stoneham in the last quarter-final.