AFC Portchester 0 Lymington Town 2
AFC Portchester’s promotion hopes were dealt another huge blow by their third home league defeat in a row.
After Saturday’s round of matches, the Royals now find themselves in sixth place in the Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division table.
They still have four games in hand on league leaders Alresford Town but now find themselves 16 points adrift.
Portchester’s league form has slumped alarmingly over the last month - after they defeated Horndean on December 21 the Royals were in third place and just four points off top spot.
Since then they have picked up just three points from four games and lost to the top two sides, Alresford and AFC Stoneham.
This encounter with Lymington was as dull and dreary as the weather conditions the game was played in.
Neither side created many chances during the 90 minutes but the home side did not fashion one opportunity of note during the entire game to test visiting keeper Ross Casey.
The first chance of the afternoon came on 23 minutes when Rian Drake got clear in space down the right and his deep cross to the far post found Luke Churchill, whose header back across goal dropped wide of the far post.
On 30 minutes, Portchester’s Ellis Martin was sent to the sin bin for comments he made to the referee and seven minutes later the visitors swarmed forwards through midfield and a through ball found Ali Zintany.
He made his way into the penalty area and hit a low shot which keeper Brad Snelling did well to get down to and push around the post.
Two minutes before half time he went closer still to scoring when Tim Stephenson won possession of the ball in midfield and played the ball through to Zintany, who smashed his shot against the crossbar.
Lymington’s push for goals continued in the second half and ten minutes after the re-start a throw in from the right was worked into the centre of the pitch. Churchill picked up the ball and got past two defenders but he put his shot into the side netting.
On 65 minutes a free kick for the visitors was lifted into the box and found its way to Ronan Moore, whose shot deflected off Martin and went wide.
The resulting corner was only partially cleared by the home defence and it fell to substitute Sam House eight yards out and he had all the time he needed to hit the ball through a crowd of players and into the net.
On 70 minutes the home side had their only real sniff of a goal in the whole match. Jason Parish met a free kick from the right but his header back across goal went wide of the target.
Five minutes later Lymington had a great chance to extend their lead when they broke forward from midfield. House picked up the ball on the edge of the box but he scuffed his shot and it rolled through to Snelling.
House had taken only four minutes to score after coming off the bench for Lymington’s first goal but Micky Finch did even better to make it 2-0 just a minute after entering the game as a substitute.
On 86 minutes Finch picked up a pass from the right and drove into the penalty area before hitting his shot across Snelling and into the far corner of the net.
LINE-UP: Brad Snelling, Rob Evans, Ellis Martin, Sam Lanahan, Craig Hardy, Olly Searle, Sutcha Shepherd, Steve Ramsey (replaced by Alex Baldacchino on 58 mins), Jason Parish, Dan Wooden, Nathan Paxton.
SUBS NOT USED: Jack Barker, Adam Cripps, Brodie Spencer, Liam Bush.