SYDENHAMS Premier new boys Hamble Club have become the first side to take points off Blackfield & Langley this season.

After reeling off 11 straight wins, the Watersiders finally met their match at Gang Warily on Saturday as Ben Kneller’s merry Monks destroyed their 100 per cent record with a 1-1 draw.

Even so, Kneller believes it will take an exceptional team to beat Blackfield to the league title.

He said: “Of the sides we’ve played, Lymington are probably more aggressive and get the ball forward very quickly, but Blackfield are a very good side and I’d say whoever finishes above them will win the league.

“They look after the ball very well with Franklyn Clarke sitting deep and passing left and right with a lot of quality.

“They’ve also got the young lad Jordan Ngalo, who’s very impressive for a 17-year-old.

“They use their pitch well and they stretch you.

“I look forward to playing them at our place where the pitch is a bit more compact. It’s tighter to move the ball in, which suits us.”

Given his admiration for Blackfield, Kneller was proud to say that his newly-promoted Division One champions were fully deserving of a point.

Skipper Liam Crook – one of the smallest players on the park – headed them in front from Coby Wilson’s cross before Kane Daysh equalised, also with a header, on 23 minutes.

“Late on they hit the bar and we had one cleared off the line,” said Kneller.

“But a point each was fair. I think either side would have been a bit gutted had the other one nicked it.

“We defended well, but we weren’t defending for our lives. We went toe-to-toe with them and attacked them when we could.

“It wasn’t a surprise to us to get a good result. We went there to try and win the game.

“We’re learning quickly in this league and we’ve got better as the season’s progressed.

“The lads are all enjoying it. We’re smiling as we go along!”

Tenth-placed Hamble now have two home games – against Southampton University in the Southampton Senior Cup tomorrow (Tuesday, 7.45pm) and Team Solent in the league on Friday (7.45pm).

Second-to-bottom Team Solent (Silvano Obeng, Curtis Thorn) got their fifth point on the board with a 2-2 draw against Bemerton (Kelvin Robinson, Jake Rawkins) at Test Park.

Horndean bounced back from two successive league defeats to beat Brockenhurst 4-2 at Grigg Lane.

Harry Jackson and Miles Everett sank a brace apiece for the Deans, eclipsing efforts from Matt Sheedy and Mitch Speechley-Price.