Friendly Fixture | 21 July 2018 | The Crest Finance Stadium | Scorer(s): Hallahan
AFC Portchester held a young Portsmouth side to a draw at the Crest Finance Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game was played in scorching heat and the fact it was played at a quick tempo throughout was testament to both side's levels of fitness.
The home side enjoyed the territorial advantage during the opening 45 minutes, with Portsmouth only breaking out of their half with quick passing breaks but they failed to create any real chances on goal.
Portchester created plenty of half chances during the first half and the first came along on 10 minutes when Andy Todd held the ball up before it was laid off into the path of Adam Cripps but his effort from 25 yards out went straight at the keeper.
The hosts came close to breaking the deadlock midway through the half when a quick throw in on the right found Todd, who set up Frankie Page inside the penalty area and his low shot looked like it was going to sneak inside the near post until the keeper's outstretched leg managed to divert the ball around the post.
On 27 minutes Todd created more problems again in the Pompey defence when he latched on to a clearance which had been sliced up into the air. He ran through with the ball into the penalty area but his rising shot went just over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Mike Turvey picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and when he spotted the keeper off his line he tried to float his shot past him into the net but in the end his effort sailed straight into the keeper's arms.
Portsmouth almost snatched the lead nine minutes before half time when they got in behind the home defence for the first time in the match and although the striker managed to slip his shot past keeper Tom Price, the effort went wide of the far post.
Portchester went close to scoring again in the closing stages of the first half when another quick throw in on the right was directed towards Todd but he couldn't quite stretch enough to divert the ball into the net.
The visitors took the lead a minute before half time with a shot by Alfie Stanley which didn't look it was heading towards the net until it took a deflection off of a home defender and went in.
The home side didn't have to wait long to get over the disappointment of going in behind at the interval when they equalised only a minute into the second half thanks to two half time substitutes.
Simon Woods drove forward with the ball on the right before putting it into the path of George Hallahan and his shot across the keeper found the back of the net.
The second half proved to be a more even affair in terms of possession and territory but neither side could find another goal to secure victory from this match.
Woods had two good chances - the first one was a low shot which went straight at the keeper and the second saw him try and lift the ball over the keeper as he raced off his line to smother the danger and the Pompey man got a deflection on the ball to take it over the crossbar.
Hallahan went closer still on the hour mark when he fired off a shot following good build up play down the left and the keeper had to dive full stretch to his left to keep the shot out.
Woods had another effort blocked by the keeper before Hallahan tried to curl a shot from the edge of the box into the net but his effort was easily gathered by the keeper.
Portsmouth looked the more likely to score late on and Price was called on twice to make saves - the first a shot from distance which stung his gloves and he out foxed an attacker in a one-on-one situation by blocking his close range effort.
Portsmouth should have scored with four minutes remaining when an attacker was sent clear of the home defence inside the penalty area but he blazed his effort well over the top when well placed to score from 10 yards out.
Overall both sides will be relatively pleased with their performances during the 90 minutes and both sets of coaching staff will have been able to identify the areas that still need working on before the season kicks-off.
For Portchester this result continued their unbeaten run in pre-season friendlies so far but there are two tough fixtures to come this week - Horsham away on Tuesday night and Gosport Borough at home next Saturday.