Honours were shared once again in the El Creekio derby clash between Fareham and Portchester.
The two sides shared a 0-0 draw earlier in the season and the play ebbed and flowed between the two sides during Saturday’s encounter.
Both will make claims that they should have taken all three points but on the balance of play a draw was a fair result overall.
Portchester made the stronger start to the game and took the lead after five minutes.
Good build up play down the right saw the ball played forward to Steve Ramsey. He got to the edge of the penalty area before cutting inside and curling his shot past keeper Declan McCarthy and into the far corner of the net.
It almost got even better for the Royals two minutes later when Mike Turvey caught Shawn Benjamin in possession. After robbing the ball from the Fareham defender the Portchester man tried an extravagant looking shot with McCarthy off his line but the ball ended up going well wide.
Fareham then drew themselves level on 12 minutes after the visitors failed to deal with Gary Austin’s run down the right. He took the ball into the penalty area before pulling the ball back across goal and Curt Robbins slid in on it at the far post to tuck the ball home.
The home side were a threat from corners throughout the game and on 24 minutes, Jack Barker outjumped a melee of players on the penalty spot but put his header over.
Adam Cripps proved to be a threat for Portchester with his long throw-ins into the box and on 32 minutes Turvey headed one on into the path of Harry Birmingham and his first time shot forced McCarthy into making a fine one-handed save at his near post.
With two minutes of the first half remaining a clearance from a corner was picked up by Jack Breed, who worked the ball out to the right to Birmingham. His deep cross fell to Marco Giambelardini but his shot went tamely into the side netting.
Fareham snatched the lead in the second minute of injury time at the end of the first half when former Portchester player Simon Woods picked the ball up on the left hand edge of the penalty area.
He drove past two defenders before the ball fell back into his path and he sent a low shot past keeper Charlie Searle and inside his near post.
Fareham almost extended their lead two minutes into the second half when Robbins picked the ball up in midfield and hit a shot which Charlie Searle had to push over the crossbar.
However, Portchester drew level on 49 minutes after Breed hit the ball into the left channel for Turvey to chase and he got to the ball first only for McCarthy to bring him down. The keeper should have received a straight red card but the referee only showed him a yellow.
Ramsey took the resulting free kick and hit his shot low under the wall and McCarthy could only palm the ball into the net.
After this goal both sides tried to grab their third of the afternoon but neither team quite had enough to get their noses in front again.
Woods rocked on a long through ball into the path of Austin and as he tried to fire off a shot Cripps blocked his shot. From the corner Benjamin had a free header on goal but thumped his chance over the target.
On 63 minutes Fareham went closer still when an in swinging corner from the left beat Charlie Searle but substitute Andrea Carrera got under the ball and put his header over.
Portchester went close on 76 minutes when Ramsey picked up the ball from a long throw-in on the left and laid the ball off to Giambelardini, who fired a shot across goal which narrowly went wide of the far post.
The curse of poor decisions seemed to hit the visitors again with ten minutes to go when they broke forward and as Turvey tried to take the ball across the edge of the penalty area he appeared to be chopped down by a defender but the referee didn’t see anything wrong with the tackle and allowed play to continue.
Fareham’s final chance came two minutes before the end when a free kick from the left found substitute Lamin Jatta unmarked but he glanced his header over from four yards out.
A minute later at the other end the visitors forced a corner but Turvey’s flicked header at the near post went over.