End of Season Review - First Team

9 months ago By Andrew Matthews

A good season, but not quite enough in the end.

Throughout the season, the first team shone on several good days and in the first half, were only undone by the top sides. Amesbury Town and Portland United, always looking to be the favourites took home points off US in the early exchanges, but wins elsewhere took the side up into the top 3 of the table, whilst cup form was up and down.

Once again, the turning point in the league season came as the weather deteriorated. A period of just 2 games in 2 months between December and February meant there was catching up to be done and not enough time to do it in whilst remaining competitive.
There were highlights, a strong performance away at Portland United, despite defeat, gave promise for the remainder, but 3 defeats in a tough week in March saw US drop out of the top 4 for the first time.

The final part of the season saw an unbeaten run of 3 games to see of the campaign and rise back into 4th place and the highest finish for 7 years.

In the cups it was a different story, partially hindered by tough draws in all competitions, there were very few occasions of joy as the FA Cup run barely began after an early defeat to a strong Bradford Town side and despite a strong show at Sholing, which could so easily have been different, a replay was enough for the former Southern League side to win through. The first game, played on a chilly Friday night was an entertaining encounter, which US lead for a large part, but a controversial late equaliser for Sholing and the decision to play only extra time before a replay meant that the chance was missed.

A penalty win away at Whitchurch United warmed a cold September night in the Hampshire Senior Cup which set up a local derby with Moneyfields, but our Portsmouth counterparts were just too strong on the night winning 2-0 with help from the ever promising Alfie Rutherford.

There were further tough draws in the Russell Coates and Wessex League Cups, with long trips to Lymington and Hamworthy respectively within a short period of time. A 2-1 defeat at Lymington ended any hopes in the Russell Coates Cup, but the valiant performance again showed that against higher opponents the squad can compete. The Hamworthy League Cup tie showed this as US ran out 2-0 winners causing an upset of sorts. But the cup success was short lived as a trip to the very impressive Team Solent ended in a 7-0 defeat on a tough Friday night.

Finally, the Portsmouth Senior Cup run was unluckily ended by the same Havant and Waterlooville side who had just a couple of weeks previously dumped out the reserves. The National League South side chose to use the tournament to field some out of form players with strong young and loaned players and were just too strong on the night, not allowing US too many opportunities to impact the tie and capitalising expertly on mistakes. This came after exciting wins over Clanfield (6-2) and Baffins Milton Rovers Reserves (5-3).

Once again a big well done too all players and staff involved in a long season. A tough period in the middle made it very hard to remain competitive, but the squad showed more than enough promise both on the pitch and in strength in depth and will move on and up next season.

Final Round Up:

Wessex League Division One: 4th Place
Wessex League Cup: 2nd Round
Hampshire Senior Cup: 2nd Round
Portsmouth Senior Cup: Quarter Final
Russell Coates Cup: 1st Round
FA Cup: Extra Preliminary Round
FA Vase: Preliminary Round

Players' player of the season: Danny Sharratt
Manager's player of the season: Pete Houkes
First Team Golden Boot: Callum Coker

Updated 10:24 - 29 May 2016 by Andrew Matthews

Where next?

Sponsorship Opportunities Sponsorship and advertisement packages for the coming season are available now.
End of Season Review - Reserves An up and down season, but consolidation at a higher level for the young reserve side.

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Fixtures
Sat 25 Mar
h
USP First Team Laverstock & Ford
League 15:00
a
USP Reserves Alton
League 15:00
Tue 28 Mar
a
USP First Team Totton & Eling
League 19:45
Sat 1 Apr
h
USP First Team Downton
League 15:00

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