Portland United 2 AFC Portchester 1
Portchester’s poor run of form continued as they slipped to defeat at high flying Portland United.
This was the Royals’ fourth defeat in a row and in truth the margin of victory could have been bigger had the home side taken more of the chances they created.
Neither keeper had a particularly busy afternoon but the hosts had the better of the attacking moments of note.
Portland took the lead with one of those on nine minutes. Jamie Beasley got clear down the left and his deep cross to the far side of the penalty area landed at the feet of Ben Morris.
He pulled the ball back to the edge of the box from where Alex Halloran hit a shot with the outside of his boot which spun into the top corner of the net.
Portchester had their first chance of the match on 20 minutes when a corner from the right picked out Callum Chugg at the far post but he put his header straight into the gloves of Steve Boore.
Seven minutes later the visitors managed to break up play on the left and Liam Bush crossed the ball into the near post where Steve Ramsey was waiting but he put his header well wide.
Portland went close again on 29 minutes when a free kick from their own half was lofted forward and Luke King had a free header which he put just wide.
The home side should have doubled their advantage five minutes later when Josh Williams intercepted the ball in midfield and slid a pass through to Bailey Rowe.
He went through one-on-one with Brad Snelling but the Portchester keeper got out quickly to block the ball. Morris fired the rebound towards goal but Snelling was able to push the ball away from the target.
Four minutes before half time Portland went closer still. Halloran and Williams combined some passes together before feeding the ball to Beasley inside the box. He cut inside his marker and hit his shot against the outside of the post.
Portchester managed to pull themselves level on 57 minutes thanks to a move that was started by Snelling’s long clearance.
Mike Turvey headed the ball on and Owen Fee got clear of the home defence before firing his shot past Boore and into the net.
However, the visitors were only level for three minutes. Portland worked the ball forward quickly through midfield to Halloran on the edge of the box.
He was given the time to control the ball and then fire home a shot off the base of the post and into the net from 20 yards out.
Portland went close to scoring again on 76 minutes when a free kick from the right was crossed into the box to give Halloran the chance of completing his hat-trick. Although he had a free header he put the chance narrowly wide of the post.
GOAL: Owen Fee (57 mins)
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Rob Evans, Liam Bush, Jordan Brooks, Callum Chugg, Olly Searle, Adam Cripps (replaced by Jack Barker on 36 mins), Steve Ramsey, Mike Turvey, Owen Fee (replaced by Daniel Bonavia on 68 mins), Stuart McConnachie (replaced by Patrick Hnath on 62 mins).
UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: George Murage.