Tuesday, 19 June 2012

21st Century Hampshire Top Twenties: 2008/2009

Excuse me, are we in the right place for Fleet Town FC?
Ah, the return of the Hampshire Top Twenty lists! The previous nine can be found by following the Top Twenty Tables link on the right-hand side...

What's this all about then? Well, in the following table, Hampshire's best twenty clubs for 2008/2009 have been ordered according to their position in the national pyramid. The first number after the club's name refers to the position that their league occupied in the overall structure at the time (the Premiership being at overall level 1; Wessex League Premier being at level 9); the second number refers to their position within their league that season.

We won't mention what happened to Saints this season, suffice to say it would be their final nightmare season for the foreseeable future - Pompey's were just beginning. Aldershot settled down into mid-table in their first league season. Eastleigh, Farnborough and AFC Totton all reached play-offs, although all were beaten (Eastleigh in the semis by Hayes & Yeading; Farnborough in their final against Gloucester City; AFC Totton also in their final at home to Didcot Town). Havant & Waterlooville reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the fifth time, losing at home to Brentford. Promoted from the Wessex League as runners-up were VT FC (soon to be renamed Sholing).

Several satisfying performances then, but the featured club this time is Fleet Town. They had one of their best-ever seasons, finishing third in the Isthmian League Division One South, losing in the promotion play-offs to Metropolitan Police. But their trophy cabinet was added to as winners of the Hampshire Senior Cup, Russell Cotes Cup, the North Hants FA Cup and the Aldershot Senior Cup. Not only that, but they equalled their best-ever FA Cup run, going out in the 3rd qualifying round to AFC Totton.

Here is the table for 2008/2009:

1. (1) Portsmouth 1/14
2. (2) Southampton 2/23
3. (3) Aldershot Town 4/15
4. (4) Eastleigh 6/3
5. (5) Havant & Waterlooville 6/15
6. (6) Basingstoke Town 6/18
7. (8) Farnborough 7/2
8. (7) Bashley 7/14
9=. (9) Fleet Town 8/3
9=. (13) AFC Totton 8/3
11. (10) Gosport Borough 8/12
12. (12) Andover 8/19
13. (11) Winchester City 8/22
14. (14) VT FC 9/2
15. (17) Moneyfields 9/3
16. (16) Brockenhurst 9/5
17. (15) Cove 9/6
18. (NE) New Milton Town 9/9
19. (18) Fareham Town 9/10
20. (NE) Romsey Town 9/11

First time entries for the renamed New Milton Town and Romsey Town, who only recently had finished bottom of the Hampshire League's third tier. Following them now makes me feel like a Johnny-come-lately glory-hunter. These two replaced Horndean and Hayling United.

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