Wessex Premier League | 14 November 2017 | Love Lane | Scorer(s): B. Scott, Todd, Baldacchino
Ian Saunders men claimed a vital 1-3 win away at Petersfield FC on Tuesday night, thanks to goals from Andy Todd, Bobby Scott and Alex Baldacchino.
It was quite clear from the early proceedings that the surface of the pitch may have an effect on the way the game was to be played by both sides. With the squelch of the players every step easily heard from the sidelines.
The pitch may have been poor, but the royals opening goal certainly was not; It came with the first real attack of the game, Olly Searle cutting in on his right foot and delivering a beautiful cross to the appreciative Andy Todd who headed past a despairing goalkeeper. 0-1.
A dream start for the Royals, who would have been aware of the importance of an opening goal against a Petersfield side who have struggled so far this season.
And much like buses the wait for a second was not a long one, this time Bobby Scott getting in on the action. This time Todd turning provider as he smartly laid the ball into the path of his strike partner , who fired the ball into the low far corner from around 25 yards out. 0-2.
The first chance for the home side came in the 14th minute when Wycherley spotted Cameron Scott off his line and tried a speculative effort from 40 yards, which in fairness was not too far from the target.
A big chance to finish the game came in the 19th minute minute as Bobby Scott expertly danced around three defenders with ease, before dragging his shot wide of the post. The type of chance the prolific striker usually scores in his sleep.
Scott almost redeemed his miss in spectacular fashion in the 28th minute when his curling 25 yard free kick went just wide of the post, with the Petersfield goalkeeper Eaton looking well beaten.
Ramsay was the next man to go close, latching on to a perfectly waited ball from Bobby Scott only to drag his shot just wide.
Petersfield were given a big chance to pull one just before the break. Powell creating a glorious opportunity for himself after some mazy dribbling, only to fire wide whilst trying to shoot off balance.
Half Time: Petersfield Town FC 0-2 AFC Portchester
Whatever was said by the Petersfield manager at halftime clearly made a difference, with his team looking like a completely new outfit at the start of the second half.
The home side were rewarded for their bright start to the second half when they were awarded a penalty on the 52nd minute. Tricky winger Gilbert being clipped as he charged into the Portchester box at considerable pace.
Second half substitute Essai made no mistake as he buried the penalty into the top corner 1-2.
Their opening goal rallied Petersfield and they almost equalised on the 56th minute, when Tayler rose highest from a corner only to see his effort land just wide of the post.
The next segment of the game became very scrappy with neither side really able to find their rhythm and finding it hard to create anything more than half chances. Steve Ramsey firing high from distance in the 67th minute the only real opening.
After a flurry of changes the games intensity picked up once again, and it was one of those subs that put the game to bed. A manager always hopes that his replacements can make an instant impact, and Alex Baldacchino did just that; the striker turning in a Steve Ramsey cross in the 86th minute with his first touch of the game. 1-3.
Full Time: Petersfield Town FC 1-3 AFC Portchester
Petersfield: Eaton, Tayler, Geddes, Wycherley, Plackett, Evans, Gilbert, Elward, Connor, Powell, Tremlett
Subs: Essai, Boxall, Kendall, Thomas, Fagelman
Royals: C.Scott, Hudson, Searle, Ramsey, Birmingham, Moody, Page, Bye, B.Scott, Todd, Evans
Subs: Hoolihan, Baldacchino, Edwards, Tuppen, Noice
Report by Hugo Butler