Another report on the 3-1 win over Fareham Town below - this one is written by Jay Rowland.
AFC Portchester overcame local rivals Fareham Town in a hotly contested derby game under the lights at Cams Alders Sports Ground.
Playing this fixture for the second time in as many weeks, both sides seemed well up for the battle in what was a pulsating affair.
Fareham started slightly brighter from the first whistle, but it was Portchester who drew first blood. Tricky winger Patrick Hnath did excellently to catch up to a through ball, then showed superb footwork along the touchline to drive into the box and square a low cross for Jason Parish, who’s first-time shot found the back of the net.
Fareham responded well to going a goal behind, and only minutes later Nathan Paxton had to leap across goal to make a goal-saving block to deny an equaliser from the home side.
Fareham had the wind in their sails after this, and drew a wonderful reaction save from Brad Snelling in the Portchester goal to keep his side ahead in the 17th minute.
Portchester still carried a threat going forward and should have doubled their lead through Paxton when he found himself free in the box, but he could only hit a tame shot straight down the throat of Fareham ‘keeper Declan McCarthy.
Portchester did eventually get their second of the night in the 41st minute. Dan Wooden shifted the ball on to his left foot to beat a defender, then lashed a shot from all of 25 yards that thundered into the top left corner beyond the despairing dive of McCarthy.
Wooden almost grabbed a second in the very next minute when he muscled through the Fareham backline for a one-on-one opportunity, but McCarthy did well to deny him with his leg.
Fareham should have pulled one back before the break when a delightful cross was heading straight for striker Luke Slade, but he completely missed the ball from six yards out to give Portchester a let-off.
Portchester almost made it three with the last kick of the half, but Paxton saw his shot cleared off the line before the whistle blew.
After the break, Fareham looked the hungrier side and tested Snelling on multiple occasions, but he rose to the challenge and made a string of superb saves to keep Portchester two goals ahead.
Fareham centre-back Tom Froggatt almost cost his team when he slipped and allowed Wooden space on the edge of the box, but McCarthy made an excellent save to deny him.
Snelling was eventually beaten when Fareham substitute Lewis Stockford shifted the ball on to his left foot just inside the box and whipped a shot into the far corner to give Fareham a lifeline.
Fareham almost drew level five minutes later but for an incredible stop from Snelling, who stuck out a strong left arm to divert a Slade strike from close range.
The game was gripping viewing for both sets of fans at this stage, with chances coming and going for both sides, the best of which fell to Wooden as he broke through on goal with hopes of restoring Portchester’s two-goal cushion, but McCarthy produced a fine fingertip save to divert the shot around the post.
Fareham were struck with a double blow after a scramble in their box saw Connor Messenbird commit a foul that gave the referee no option but to point to the spot. Messenbird, having already been booked for an earlier foul, was sent to the sin bin for his protests, leaving Fareham with ten men.
Portchester captain Steve Ramsay made no mistake from 12 yards, sending McCarthy the wrong way and putting the away side 3-1 up.
The game petered out after the penalty, and the full time whistle sparked jubilation from the Portchester fans who see their team claim the bragging rights on derby day and also climb to fourth in the league.
Portchester are next in action on Saturday, November 23, at home to Hamworthy United.