AFC Stoneham 0 AFC Portchester 3
AFC Portchester enjoyed the perfect away day during their trip to Stoneham on Saturday.
They scored three goals, picked up three league points to take them up to fourth place in the Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division table, and kept only their second clean sheet of the season.
It was a tighter game than the scoreline suggests but the Royals netted their goals at just the right times to ensure they stayed in control of the game.
However, keeper Brad Snelling had a quiet afternoon and apart from blocking three decent efforts from the home side, he had little else to do.
Portchester went close to scoring after only six minutes when Dan Wooden latched on to a wind assisted through ball down the middle of the pitch. He took the ball forward before shooting from 20 yards out and keeper Matt Fredericks had to push the ball away from the goal before gathering it up safely.
The visitors did take the lead two minutes later when Nathan Paxton chased down Snelling’s long punt forward into the right hand corner of the pitch. He pulled the ball across goal from the right and Wooden was on hand to knock the ball past Fredericks.
Stoneham had their first chance of the game on 19 minutes when a quick short corner was crossed into the penalty area but Edwardo Jimenez’s flicked header went over the goal.
On 31 minutes a miss-hit cross from Steve Ramsey on the right almost caught out Fredericks as it swerved towards goal but the keeper got back to pluck the ball out of the air as it dropped towards the goal line.
The home side’s afternoon was made tougher five minutes later when Matt Palmer was sent off for what looked like a dangerous sliding tackle and Owen Fee curled the resulting free kick narrowly wide into the side netting.
The home side made a fast start to the second half when a long ball over the top sent Marcel Laptas clear of the Portchester defence. He held off Josh Warren’s attempts to win the ball back and from inside the box hit a shot which Snelling got enough of a hand to to push it away from the target.
Stoneham went closer still to scoring on 58 minutes when a throw in from the right found Matt Bainbridge and his shot was partially blocked. It then rolled to substitute Chris Manning who tried to force the ball home but Snelling’s foot prevented the shot from crossing the line.
Portchester then doubled their lead with an excellent goal on 62 minutes. The ball was passed out of defence and then down the right to Wooden. He pulled the ball back to Fee on the right hand edge of the penalty area, who then curled his shot past Fredericks and into the far corner of the net.
More good build up play, this time down the left wing, set up another chance for the visitors on 77 minutes. Wooden crossed the ball to Paxton but his header looped up over the crossbar.
Portchester had another chance three minutes later when Paxton crossed the ball towards goal and Fredericks parried it towards Wooden. He tried to flick the ball home first time but the keeper was equal to it and clutched on to the ball at his near post.
Stoneham went close again with seven minutes remaining when a free kick was played down the left hand side to Callum Laycock. His low cross almost beat Snelling at his near post but the keeper stretched out his leg to turn the ball away.
Wooden then almost managed to capitalise on a defensive mistake when Ben Clarke lost control of the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area. He took the ball towards the goal and hit a low shot which Fredericks managed to block to safety with his body.
Portchester eventually managed to get their third goal in the fourth minute of injury time when the defence cleared a corner to the left into the path of substitute Jordan Brooks. He ran forward with the ball before squaring it into the path of Wooden, who guided his low shot into the net.
GOALS: Dan Wooden (8 mins, 90+3 mins), Owen Fee (62 mins)
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Jack Barker, Liam Bush, Rob Evans, Josh Warren, Callum Chugg, Nathan Paxton (replaced by Jordan Brooks on 82 mins), Steve Ramsey, Dan Wooden, Mike Turvey, Owen Fee (replaced by Adam Cripps on 74 mins).
UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Olly Searle, Bradey Norton.