AFC Portchester 1 Fareham Town 1 (Fareham won 4-2 on pens)
AFC Portchester’s involvement in cup competitions this season came to an end at the hands of local rivals Fareham Town.
This Russell Cotes Cup tie proved to be an even affair but it was the lottery of a penalty shoot-out after 90 minutes which determined who would go through to face Alton in the next round.
It was the Royals’ third penalty shoot out of the campaign and the second time they have been knocked out of a cup competition by this method.
There were no goals in the first half but plenty of half chances for both sides.
Fareham should have taken the lead after only two minutes when Jack Breed broke free down the left and crossed the ball into the box. A defender slipped which allowed Charlie Cooper to have a free shot on goal but he skied his effort well over the target.
The visitors had another opportunity six minutes later when Breed’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked and the loose ball rolled to Ashley Tattersall, who fizzed his shot through a crowd of players but just wide of the post.
On 11 minutes a misplaced pass in midfield was picked up by Steve Ramsey but his shot from 20 yards out drifted wide and Dan Wooden then got the ball on the edge of the penalty area, held off his marker but turned and hit his shot over the bar.
At the other end Simon Woods had a goal-bound effort blocked by a defender and Tattersall tried his luck from distance once again but his rising shot went over the crossbar.
Jason Parish had a goal ruled out for offside on 34 minutes and a minute later Josh Benfield latched on to a long clearance, took the ball forward to the edge of the box but after working some space to shoot he fired his effort straight against a defender and the danger was cleared.
Five minutes before half time Portchester went close to taking the lead when Patrick Hnath flicked on a corner from the left and the ball went across the face of goal before bouncing off the far post.
A minute later a free kick was played into the penalty area and when two Fareham defenders slipped over, the ball ran through to Brodie Spencer but he lashed his shot wide.
At the other end, Fareham then broke forward quickly and Benfield picked the ball up ten yards out before firing off a shot which keeper Brad Snelling got down to block at his near post.
From the corner Archie Wilcox had a free header from close range but his downward header bounced across the goal and wide of the far post.
The game burst into life quickly in the second half when Fareham took the lead just a minute after the re-start.
A corner from the left dropped on the edge of the six yard box and Benfield prodded the ball towards goal. The home defence couldn’t prevent the ball from going in and a final attempt to keep it out could only help the ball on its way into the roof of the net.
Fareham almost doubled their lead on 53 minutes when the ball was played in from the left to Woods, who rode a challenge and fired off a shot which was blocked by Snelling. The rebound rolled to Cooper who hit his effort against the crossbar when well placed to score.
On 61 minutes substitute Nathan Paxton went close when his shot was blocked and at the other end Cooper fired into the side netting when one-on-one with Snelling.
However, Portchester scored their equaliser on 65 minutes when a free kick from the right picked out Wooden near the penalty spot. His first header hit the post but he reacted quickest to get to the rebound and he headed home at the second time of asking.
The home side went so close to taking the lead four minutes later when a free kick was rolled to Ramsey 20 yards out and he hit his curling effort against the crossbar.
The visitors pressed for a winning goal in the final ten minutes and thought they had got it when Benfield took the ball into the box and unleashed a shot but Snelling dived full length to his left to keep the ball out of his net.
Cooper then got forward down the right and drove forward with the ball into the penalty area and forced Snelling into making a good blocking save at his near post.
In the penalty shoot out both sides missed their first penalties before both scored their second spot kicks. However, the visitors held their nerve after this to book their place in the next round.
Penalty shoot-out details:
Round one: Snelling dived to his right to keep out Tom Settle’s penalty and Luke Douglas got down well to his left to keep Rob Evans’ shot out.
Round two: Will Harris sent Snelling diving the wrong way by putting his penalty into the bottom left corner before Ramsey’s low effort wrong-footed Douglas.
Round three: Ethan Jones’ spot kick to Snelling’s left was too powerful to keep out and Hnath smashed his penalty well over the crossbar.
Round four: Substitute Kelvin Robinson drilled his penalty low into the corner and Ellis Martin sent Douglas diving the wrong way with his low shot.
Round five: Wilcox drilled his penalty to Snelling’s left, who had no chance of stopping it.
GOAL: Dan Wooden (65 mins)
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Reece Colborne, Liam Bush, Rob Evans, Ellis Martin, Olly Searle, Brodie Spencer (replaced by Joe Noakes on 78mins), Steve Ramsey, Jason Parish (replaced by Nathan Paxton on 55 mins), Dan Wooden (replaced by George Murage on 81 mins), Patrick Hnath.
UNUSED SUB: Craig Hardy