Saturday 18th August, 2018 Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Division 1
Despite key absences, the Robins got their first away win of the season with a dominant display at Andover Town.
Both Ben Smith and Craig Tyson were unavailable, so Rich Rendall took the reigns for the game. Downton had early chances for both Declan McGregor and Shaun Prentice, before Prentice managed to find the net on the 21st minute. Ten minutes later and the Robins were two-up, an unfortunate own-goal for the hosts. And then, almost on the stroke of half-time, Liam Dance grabbed his first goal for Downton, a towering header given the hosts keeper no chance, and ensuring a 3-0 lead at half-time for the Robins.
The second half continued as the first half finished, Downton in complete control of the game. Charlie Cooper found plenty of space on the right hand side and Prentice on the left, but a string of chances went awry. Downton were spraying the ball around with ease, much of the play coming from the back with Liam Dance influential throughout.
Lewis Gunstone-Grey was called into action in the 70th minute, palming a well-hit shot onto the post to keep his clean-sheet. Soon after, Shaun Prentice danced through the opposition defence before cracking the ball into the net to put the Robins further head. Subs Harry Prentice and Las Richardson were both unfortunate not to get on the goal-sheet - but, in the end, a well deserved win for the Robins, and a second win in a row.
MOTM: Liam Dance
Downton 2-1 Totton & Eling
Tuesday 14th August, 2018 Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Division 1
The Robins opened their account for the season at the second time of asking in an enthralling game against Totton & Eling.
With the fixture switched to Wick Lane - great testament to the Downton team behind the scenes in preparing the pitch so well over a challenging Summer - it was an evenly matched first half, with player-manager Ben Smith hitting the post, while the visitors went just as close, stinging the underside of the Dowtnon crossbar.
Downton stalwart, Declan McGregor, had a chance to put the Robins a goal up during the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the hosts found themselves one-nil down soon after, with the Millers Dylan Gain looping the ball over keeper Lewis Gunstone-Grey.
An inspired comeback began when Charlie Cooper smashed home on the 71st minute, before turning provider with a storming run down the wing, the ball eventually finding Shaun Prentice to put the Robins ahead on the 81st minute.
There were further chances for Downton - Las Richardson unfortunate not to get his first senior goal when the keeper saved when he was through one-on-one - but the Robins intelligently saw out the game to get their first win of the season in front of a bouyant Tuesday night crowd.
MOTM: Craig Tyson
Downton 0-2 US Portsmouth
Saturday 4th August, 2018 Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Division 1
Extremely hot conditions for both sides on the opening game of the season. The weather may have slightly slowed the game down but it was the Robins who moved the ball around a lot quicker for the opening ten minutes. Some clever link up play and with Prentice saw him thru one on one with only the keeper to beat but saw his chip neatly saved.
Downton got the ball moving around nicely with everyone enjoying plenty of touches on the ball. A rare Portsmouth attack within the first 20mins saw Liam Dance beaten in the air by Tom Jeffers to take the visitors 1-0 up. This almost took the wind out the Robins sales with there flowing passing being broken down to easily and let the visitors in again with a gift of a goal to take them 2-0 up at the break.
The second half saw Downton pile on the pressure into the visitors and with the introduction of Cooper things started looking promising. Some great play by Matt Cox and skipper Craig Tyson opened the defence up on several occasions but the Portsmouth keeper was in great form.
With 10 minutes to go, the lively Cooper latched onto a great through ball and weaved his way thru the defence only to be denied at the last, with claims for a penalty. The Robins kept up the pressure and forced a corner which Ben Smith met with power- again, unlucky not to be given the goal, considering the positioning of the keeper, with claims the ball had crossed the line.
Downton could do nothing more and had to settle for a defeat on the opening day of the season.