Sydenhams League (Wessex) – Premier Division
Bemerton HH 3 Fareham Town 0
Heath team: Porter, Metcalfe, Mankin (c), Roberts, Eves, Bowman, Williams, O'Keefe, Perrett (Dawes), Sanger, Young (Roe).
Scorers: Sanger (14), Roberts (pen 39), Bowman (55).
BEMERTON Heath Harlequins prepared for one of the biggest games in their history in the best possible style.
Ian Chalk's side make the long journey north to face Vase favourites Spennymoor Town in the last 16 of the competition on Saturday, and will be doing so in confident mood after a 3-0 home win over Fareham Town.
Joe Sanger cut inside and slotted past goalkeeper Adam Redman at his near post after 14 minutes. The lead was doubled soon before half time when Tom Roberts converted from the spot.
The third and final goal came ten minutes after the break, Bemerton breaking quickly from a Fareham corner and Dan Bowman calmly finishing his first league goal for the club. “It was arguably our best performance of the season,” said Chalk.
“Fareham came off the back of a great win against Christchurch but we were by far the stronger team. We showed great determination from the start, and never looked in trouble.”
Bemerton are flying to Spennymoor on Friday, hoping to spring an upset and go further than they ever have in the vase, having lost 1-0 at Clitheroe in 1998-99. They will be at full strength with the return of Jack Slade and Dan Pancaldi.
“We have prepared as well as possible, and if we lose it will be because they were the better side,” added Chalk.
“It's as big as any game the club has played, and there will be a big crowd there so that will help financially.
“We know how tough it will be, because they are the favourites and unbeaten in their league, but it seems to be the year of the underdog in cups.”
Heath then entertain Gosport Borough in a Russell Cotes Cup quarter-final on Monday.
*The Sydenhams League received high praise for the tie between Bemerton and Blackfield & Langley in the previous round. Competitions secretary John Gorman said: “We have had praise for the high standard of play, the manner in which the game was played and the enjoyment of a very good game of football and day out.
“The match referee also went out of his way to applaud both clubs for their behaviour and attitude, both on and off the pitch, and described the game as ‘a pleasure to referee.’ “The recurring phrase was ‘a credit to the Wessex League’ and the league would like to thank and congratulate both clubs on the day.”