by Robert Butler
Friday January 5th, 201214:27
NIGEL ADKINS’ survival seeking Saints climbed out of the bottom-three with a hard-fought draw against Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium. Gaston Ramirez’s strike had given the hosts a shock lead before Guly’s own goal five minutes before half time wiped out the advantage.
In League One Bournemouth’s renaissance under Eddie Howe continued as the Cherries moved to 16 unbeaten. The Goldsand side sit on the cusp of the play-off places following their goalless draw at Brentford.
At the County Ground penniless Portsmouth held off Swindon for over an hour but eventually the floodgates opened. Substitute James Collins netted four as the rampant Robins ran out 5-0 winners.
Another side at the wrong end of the table is Aldershot, in League Two, but unlike Pompey the Shots are beginning to find form. Dean Holdsworth’s men snatched a 1-0 win away at fellow strugglers Barnet, and have now lost just one of their previous six.
A seven goal second half at The Camrose saw Delano Sam-Yorke score four and Basingstoke thrash Farnborough 6-2. Alan Inns had given the visitors a first-half lead before their capitulation.
Richard Hill’s Eastleigh were also involved in an eight goal thriller, away at league-leaders Salisbury. The Spitfires managed to haul back a 3-1 deficit to go in to the break level but the table-toppers showed their worth, going on to win 5-3.
Elsewhere in the Blue Square South late goals from Sahr Kabba and Dan Strugnell were not enough for Havant & Waterlooville as they went down 3-2 to Eastbourne at Westleigh Park.
Honours were even in the Evo-Stik Premier’s Hampshire derby at The Recreation Ground. The Bash opened the scoring in the first half before the prolific Justin Bennett levelled with six minutes to go.
Perhaps the result of the week belongs to Steve Riley’s Totton. His men, who were without a win in three, stunned top-of-the-table Hemel Hempstead with a 2-0 win at Testwood.
In Division One Central Fleet were also at home to a top of the table team but they could not match the Stags’ win. Craig Davis’ men fell behind on the stroke of half time before Godalming scored two more to win the match 3-0.
The only New Years fixture in the Sydenhams Football League saw Blackfield & Langley beat Fawley AFC 3-0.