Fareham Town 1 AFC Portchester 3
Royals supporters had to endure two years and almost three months since the last one but victory over Fareham Town in the Wessex League was well worth the wait.
Portchester’s last league win over their local rivals came on August 28, 2017 - that was until Tuesday night’s derby encounter at Cams Alders.
Mick Catlin’s side were well worth the three points from what was an entertaining game throughout the 90 minutes.
It certainly proved to be a game of two halves as the visitors dominated the first half before the home side came back strongly during the second period.
Portchester opened the scoring on eight minutes when they won possession of the ball in midfield and it was played out to Patrick Hnath on the left wing.
He drove past his marker and into the penalty area before squaring a pass across the goal to Jason Parish and he hit a low shot from close range against keeper Declan McCarthy and it flew into the net.
The visitors worked hard to keep hold of their lead as four minutes later Josh Benfield’s low shot from the edge of the box was well blocked by a defender and keeper Brad Snelling had to beat away Curt Robbins’ low shot into his near post area.
Hnath should have doubled Portchester’s lead on the half hour mark when Steve Ramsey’s corner from the right picked him out unmarked in front of goal but he glanced the ball well wide of the target.
Seven minutes later a free kick from the right was played into the penalty area and was knocked back across goal where Nathan Paxton had plenty of time to shoot but he got no power behind his effort and it rolled through to McCarthy.
Portchester doubled their lead on 40 minutes when they robbed Fareham of possession in the middle of the pitch. The ball was played forward to Dan Wooden, who rolled past his marker before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out which flew past McCarthy and into the net.
Fareham had two good chances to score two minutes later when a cross from the right was met by Robbins at the far post but as he tried to slide the ball home a defender deflected it wide of the goal.
The resulting corner from the left was cleared as far as substitute Charlie Cooper 30 yards out and his long range effort only just cleared the crossbar.
In first half stoppage time a corner from the left was knocked down into the path of Paxton and his shot took a deflection and rolled narrowly wide of the far post.
Fareham made a double substitution at half time and came out of the blocks quickly in the second half.
They went close to pulling a goal back just a minute after the re-start when Snelling had to block Benfield’s shot after he made his way into the penalty area.
On 56 minutes Wooden almost put the game beyond the home side when he caught Tom Froggatt in possession on the edge of his own box. The Portchester man cut inside before hitting a shot which McCarthy had to be alert to to beat away.
Two minutes later a free kick from the right for the home side was knocked down into the path of Robbins but he put his low shot wide. From the corner the ball was cleared to substitute Lewis Stockford on the right hand side of the box and he fizzed a shot across goal that wasn’t too far wide of the target.
Fareham’s persistence paid off when they pulled a goal back on 61 minutes. Portchester had several opportunities to clear their lines but the ball eventually found Stockford in some space and he had time to tuck his low shot inside the far post.
The home side thought they had equalised five minutes later when the visitors were caught dwelling on the ball and Stockford was sent racing clear into the penalty area.
From 12 yards out he unleashed a powerful shot which looked like it was already past Snelling when the keeper reached out and somehow managed to claw the ball away and he smothered the loose ball before anyone could turn it over the line.
As Fareham pushed forward they were becoming increasingly vulnerable to Portchester’s counter attacks and Wooden and Ramsey’s quick passing set up a chance for Wooden. He spotted McCarthy off his line but he couldn’t lift his shot over the keeper, who gathered it safely.
A minute later Wooden was sent clear of the home defence again on the left. He cut inside the box before hitting a shot which hit the inside of McCarthy’s leg and then rolled away from the goal.
On 72 minutes Fareham spurned another good chance to equalise when Snelling came out of his box to clear a through ball but gave it straight back to the home side.
Luke Slade tried to lift his shot into the unguarded net but he got it all wrong and sent the ball well over the top.
Portchester made sure the three points were heading home with them when they netted their third goal on 84 minutes.
A long ball over the top fell to Ramsey who saw his shot blocked. The rebound rolled to substitute Brodie Spencer who also had his effort blocked but as he looked to roll home the rebound he was chopped down.
After Connor Messenbird had been sent to the sin bin, Ramsey buried his penalty into the bottom corner of the net.
GOALS: Jason Parish (9 mins), Dan Wooden (40 mins), Steve Ramsey (pen, 84 mins)
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Jack Barker, Liam Bush, Rob Evans, Adam Cripps, Olly Searle (replaced by Stuart McConnachie on 46 mins), Nathan Paxton, Steve Ramsey, Jason Parish (replaced by Jordan Brooks on 52 mins), Dan Wooden, Patrick Hnath (replaced by Brodie Spencer on 78 mins).
UNUSED SUBS: Max Anderson, George Murage.