SHANKLIN remain top of Division 1 of the Isle of Wight Saturday League with a hard-fought victory, while defending champions Whitecroft and Barton Sports hang on to their coat-tails.

With every result from now until the end of the season like a cup final for the division's top teams, there will be a degree of nerves, amid the rustiness of returning from a four-month lay-off due to Christmas and the third lockdown which immediately followed.

Shanklin had a tricky game away at improving Ryde Saints — snatching a 2-1 victory.

Meanwhile, it was back-to-back 1-0 wins for W&B in the space of a few days — this time at home to a decent Cowes Sports Reserves side, boosted by some current and former first team players not playing any more Wesssex League Premier football this season.

Brading Town got their title challenge back on track by hammering Ventnor 9-0 at Vicarage Lane.

Ventnor slipped to the foot of the table after Carisbrooke United earned their first point in over a year in a goalless draw at home to Vectis.

It is the first time Carisbrooke have been off bottom spot since September 2019.

In Division 2, Oakfield kept up their 100 per cent win record this season with a 4-0 derby victory at home to Seaview.

Oakfield's nearest challengers, Niton Community, beat fourth-placed Wootton comfortably by 3-0 to stay second, with only three points dropped all season. 

                                                         LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS (TUESDAY)

Isle of Wight Saturday League, Division 1: Bembridge 1, Sandown 2; Brading Town 9, Ventnor 0; Carisbrooke United 0, Vectis 0; ECS 4, Binstead & COB 0; Northwood St John 1, West Wight 1; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 1, Cowes Sports Reserves 0; Ryde Saints 1, Shanklin 2.

Division 2: Adgestone 1, Pan Sports 1; Newport A 3, Wroxall 0; Niton Community 3, Wootton 0; Oakfield 4, Seaview 0; Osborne Coburg 0, Yarmouth & Calbourne 5.

                                                        TODAY'S FIXTURES (WEDNESDAY)

Combination 1: Binstead & COB Reserves v Carisbrooke United Reserves; Brading Town Reserves v Sandown Reserves; ECS Reserves v Oakfield Reserves; Northwood St John Reserves v Ryde Saints Reserves; Seaview Reserves v Shanklin Reserves; West Wight Reserves v Whitecroft & Barton Sports Reserves.

Combination 2: Wootton Reserves v Vectis Reserves; Osborne Coburg Reserves v Ryde Saints A.

                                                                      TOMORROW (THURSDAY)

Combination 2: Yarmouth & Calbourne v Niton Community.