POPPIES remain in the thick of the Wessex Premier relegation battle after a 2-0 home loss to Portland United.

A goal in each half did the damage at Victoria Park with Ben Morris and Eder Batista on target.

Defeat leaves Poppies third from bottom with just 16 points from their 26 matches.

Lymington Town missed the chance to move into the top four with a 3-1 loss at Fareham Town.

Rian Drake netted for Lymo, but goals from Gary Austin, Curtis Robbins and Luke Slade guided mid-table Fareham to the win.

Bashley sit seventh after losing 2-1 to title-chasing Alresford Town.

Craig McAllister and Ollie Dennett's goals were enough for the hosts with Conor Whiteley's effort in vain.

Hamworthy United struck late to see off struggling Cowes Sports.

The game was locked at 2-2 after goals from Ewan Cranwell, Ji Nash, Connor Cocklin and Louis Coulson, before Eddie Hodge popped up to seal a last-gasp 3-2 win at the death.

In Wessex One, Verwood Town survived a scare to win 3-2 at Folland Sports.

Verwood were three goals to the good with Owen Nicholson and Callum Butler strikes added to by an own goal. Paulo Mendes and Kevin Brewster reduced the arrears, but the Planemakers could not find an equaliser.

New Milton Town played out their third successive goalless draw at Fawcetts Field with a stalemate against Petersfield Town.

Ringwood Town were the latest side to feel the force of leaders United Services Portsmouth, going down 4-1 despite a Matthew Casey goal.

Declan Seidon, Callum Glen, Tom Jeffes and Andy Todd netted for Portsmouth, who are six points clear at the top.

Elsewhere, Brockenhurst's hopes of a cup double were ended with a 3-2 loss against Baffins Milton Rovers.

Having won the Bournemouth Senior Cup earlier this month, Brock could not move into the Wessex League Cup semi-finals as Thomas Froggatt, Dale Mason and Tommy Tierney scored for holders Baffins.

Mitchell Speechley-Price bagged both of Brockenhurst's goals.