Tuesday, 26 June 2012

21st Century Hampshire Top Twenties: 2009/2010

Sunset over Romsey Town FC.
I'm not sure if any club has been as useless as Romsey Town were between 1997/98 and 2002/03 - bottom of whichever league they were competing in for six seasons running! Fort William in the Highland League may be their only competitors for this unwanted wooden spoon-shaped mantle. So, to finish as high as 10th in the Wessex League this season was an excellent achievement for the men from Florence Nightingale's birthplace - a true tonic for their long-suffering troupe of fans.

Meanwhile, at the top of the pyramid, Pompey reached their last cup final for what could be a very long time indeed. Bottom of the Premiership...the first club to go into administration and be docked points at that level...nobody running the club admitting they got things horrendously wrong...gah!

Happier times for North Hampshire's former financial fruitcakes, Farnborough, as they were promoted from the Southern League. Play-off defeats for AFC Totton and VT FC kept their intense rivalry alive for another year. Generally though, it was mid-table all round for most of the county's top clubs.

One last red carpet moment for Pompey at Wembley in 2010.
Here is the top twenty list for 2009/2010 (first number is level of the pyramid that the league a club competed in was at; second number is their position within that league, thus Pompey were 20th in the Premiership; Eastleigh were 11th at level 6, Conference South):

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

Brockenhurst and New Milton Town drop out this time, replaced by the ampersanded duo of Totton & Eling and Blackfield & Langley. Portsmouth's Moneyfields and Farnborough's Cove finished 12th in their equally-ranked leagues - the former are the most surprising ever-presents in the top twenty since 2000.

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