Warminster Town 3 AFC Portchester 1
Portchester’s Wembley dreams are over for another season after they crashed out of the FA Vase to step six side Warminster Town.
Continuous rain both before and during the game made the pitch particularly heavy and it cut up badly, but the conditions were the same for both teams and it was the home side who adapted their game better to suit them.
The visitors had the first opportunity on 15 minutes when Owen Fee managed to dribble the ball past three defenders before laying it off to Ellis Martin but keeper Nathan Ball cut out the cross along the six yard box.
Warminster took the lead on 22 minutes when a long clearance from defence went behind the Portchester defence and instead of bouncing true, the ball skidded off the saturated surface and went under a defender’s foot.
Francois Allen capitalised on the mistake to nudge the ball past keeper Brad Snelling and he then slid his low shot into the empty net.
Things went from bad to worse for Portchester when they lost Martin to the sin bin a minute later.
The home side had a chance to double their lead on 33 minutes when Warminster played forward a free kick from their own half into the box and Allen latched on to the ball but fired his shot high and wide of the target.
Two minutes later Jack Miluk received the ball in space on the right wing but his cross along the six yard box was cut out by a defender.
On 39 minutes the visitors went close to equalising when they broke down the left before the ball was pulled back into the path of Rob Evans and Ball had to palm away his shot from the edge of the box.
The follow up cross from the left also had to be punched away from danger by Ball.
Warminster made it 2-0 three minutes before half time when a cross from the right didn’t look to be causing any danger until Snelling slipped in the muddy conditions and that allowed Miluk to steal in and knock the loose ball home from close range.
Portchester tried to get the early goal in the second half which would get them back into the game and on 48 minutes a long clearance was flicked on into the path of Dan Wooden but his shot from eight yards out was deflected wide for a corner.
However, the home side put the game out of Portchester’s reach with their third goal on 54 minutes. After the ball was played down the right wing Allen slid in on the cross into the box and got enough of a touch to the ball to send it dribbling past Snelling and over the line.
Things almost got much worse for the visitors three minutes later when a ball down the middle sent Miluk scampering clear but he got his shot horribly wrong with only Snelling to beat.
Portchester pulled a goal back on 66 minutes when Wooden met a cross from the left to head it over Ball and into the net.
In the closing stages the visitors came more into the game as the home side sat back on their lead and another Portchester goal would have made the final few minutes interesting from their point of view.
The closest the Royals got to a second goal was on 84 minutes when a quickly taken free kick saw the ball crossed into the box from the left and Wooden’s shot hit the base of the far post before the loose ball was gathered safely by the keeper.
A minute later though Warminster almost got their fourth when Allen was sent clear down the left and from just inside the box he unleashed a shot which Snelling pushed away with a fine one handed save.
GOAL: Dan Wooden (66 mins)
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Jack Barker, Ellis Martin, Adam Cripps, Callum Chugg, Olly Searle (replaced by Jordan Brooks on 61 mins), Rob Evans, Steve Ramsey, Dan Wooden, Nathan Paxton, Owen Fee.
UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Brodie Spencer, Liam Bush, Stuart McConnachie, Patrick Hnath, George Murage.