Shaftesbury 3 – 2 AFC Stoneham

Velocity Wessex League Premier

Saturday 2nd March 2024

Shaftesbury 3 (Beard 45+2, Pitman 61, Green 90+11)

AFC Stoneham 2 (Orvis 14, Fee (Pen) 43)

‘Green day as ‘Rockies’ defeat leaders ‘

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Shaftesbury won for the first time after two defeats with a last ditch winner from new signing Stuart Green. The former Bemerton Heath Harlequins and Sholing forward sending James Phillips ‘Galactico’s’ to a second successive defeat themselves. Who is going to stop Moneyfields? 

We needed these and Liam Farrugia returned giving us balance as we made a positive start with Brett Pitman thumping in a shot that ‘Purps’ keeper Callum Lee blocked from point blank range. 

Looking more solid and compact with four at the back manager Jim Milligan has definitely got his thinking cap on and we looked better against a second elite side in a week. We were working. Ben Satterley and Louis Kellaway were industrious in the shoring up the midfield areas and Farrugia delivering balls into Green and Pitman. 

AFC Stoneham scored when Owen Fee delivered a quality ball for Jim Orvis to turn into the top corner. Unlike last weekend, ok, we will try again. The atmosphere was different, the general demeanour different. Cam Beard had a rasping shot literally beaten out by Lee. Cam was definitely hungry today! 

AFC Stoneham were falling foul of referee Lewis Ward with four yellow cards in the first half. Beard as Beard does got one too! Beard was pushing up and on the visitors who for a team known for quality football were mixing it up. Mat Bainbridge has a good chance to that we are lucky to get away with which Shane Murphy narrows down. 

Then we were 2-0 down just before the break. There was some pushing and shoving with Murphy not happy and Duarte Martins in the mix. Honestly no idea really, nor did anyone know what was going on. Ward, being assessed, marched across like Lord Nelson on the top deck to his assistant. Penalty ball! 

Owen Fee despatched it identically and at the same end that he did almost two years ago for Blackfield & Langley in 2022. Ok, think we don’t really deserve this but no matter. We know the drill at this football club. We go again. 

On the attack, Brett Pitman knock down, Beard’s there to bundle it in at the front stick. 1-2. We are going to win this. I really believed this as did Mr Chairman Steve Coffen at the half time cup of tea. 

Pitman has an appetite and past the hour Eddie Perrett pushes up after linking up with Satterley to deliver the ball in for Pitman to loop a header over Lee 2-2! Pitman celebrates his 48th League goal with a quiet gesture. Our club has been somewhat maligned a bit lately and we haven’t had much joy recently. 

Ash Wells has returned and is sweeping up at the back along with Sam Davidson as sure as eggs is eggs AFC Stoneham are going to be coming across the yard arm at us! We have missed ‘Wellsy’ for the full ninety. 

All hands on deck with Kellaway and to his post like a general. We will not yield today. Jordan Foot comes on for Farrugia and is slowly finding his gears again back at Cockrams. 

Martins then gets involved in something or other as the tackles fly in and Ward has had enough of him. He his sent to the ships basement for ten minutes without any broth. Now we have the pressure on them and Dan Bartlett is delivering the dead balls in. 

Lee is taking out everything and tips a vicious effort from Bartlett over the bar. This young goalkeeper will go far in the non league game. 

A long period of injury time is added on. In all truth a draw would have been welcome after some difficult weeks. Time is surely up. It’s teatime and maybe AFC Stoneham want to be having their tea as well. 

We have avoided seeing that awful late suckerpunch when they all run away in the direction of Tesco Garage that we dread and saw last week. Milligan has tightened the bolts up today with his formation. 

Kellaway slings one into the box. OMG! Green has flicked it into the net with Lee getting a paw on it yet unable to keep it out. We have won. We have beaten AFC Stoneham. We have done the double over a team that has enjoyed a fair few salad days on us and has been our master. 

Kick off, final whistle. They can hear that one in Chichester (Moneyfields ) but today it’s about us, though that’s obviously a result they were hoping for. 

The former ‘Boatman’ of Sholing is mobbed and Milligan is absolutely stoked. We all are. We are 3rd in the league yet have perhaps opened things up a little bit. 

We will just do our work and keep grounded with next weekend’s trip to bottom side Lymington Town a very difficult one against a much improved side despite only having 8 points. With AFC Portchester winning the top four is looking pretty ripe. What happens now, who knows? Just enjoy the ride. 

Shaftesbury – Murphy, Farrugia, Davidson, Wells, Beard, Kellaway, Perrett, Pitman, Green, Bartlett, Satterley 

Subs used – Foot

AFC Stoneham – Lee, Cluett, Barnes, Bainbridge, Batt, Clarke, Orvis, Welch, Martins, Fee, Jenkins

Subs used – Pattinson, Nagle, Sampson

Officials – L.Ward, R.Nobbs, W.Buchanan

Attendance – 224

Sin Bin – Martins (AFC Stoneham)

Booked – Welch, Jenkins, Clarke, Batt, Martins, Bainbridge (AFC Stoneham)

Beard, Wells (Shaftesbury)

Avril 🐌

Photos by Ben Chandler & Avril – included is one of the ground at 0945! 

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