Hampshire Senior Cup Match Report
New Milton Town FC 0-2 AFC Portchester
1. K.Burgess 1. C.Scott
2. R.Keith 2. R.Evans
3. T.Gagan 3. H.Birmingham
4. M.Barber 4. S.Ramsey
5. D.Molyauex 18. J.Warren
6. E.Maddocks © 6. N.Kirby
7. M.Finch 7. O.Searle
8. E.Lines 8. J.Bye ©
9. A.Louka 9. B.Scott
10. D.Power 10. A.Baldacchino
11. B.Aspin 11. H.Gregory
L.Texciera, G. Wells
A stunning strike from Olly Searle and a late Josh Warren header helped AFC Portchester book their place in the third round of the Hampshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
The Royals bounced back from their FA Cup disappointment at the weekend in the best possible way, with a 0-2 win over Wessex Division One side New Milton Town FC.
Ian Saunders made four changes to the side that faced Truro at the weekend with Harry Gregory, Alex Baldacchino and Harry Birmingham all making their first starts of the campaign.
From the outset the Royals took control dominating possession of the ball and pinning the home side back in their own half.
The first real chance of the game fell to Bobby Scott in the 17th minute as he cut in well from the left hand side of the box, only to see his low shot saved well by the feet of New Milton keeper Keiran Burgess.
The opposition keeper proved to be a very busy man for the following ten or so minutes of the game, saving well on several occasion to deny the relentless threat of Royals strike partnership Baldacchino and Scott.
The striking duo who were starting together for the first time this season were linking expertly, and following their good work Rob Evans found time and space in the 25th minute to release a fierce low drive. But for the umpteenth time already in the game, the New Milton keeper protected his goal with real confidence.
The home side’s first attacking chance came in the 29th minute of the tie when forward Adam Louka looked to latch on to a hopeful through ball. However, youngster Harry Birmingham showed real composure to read the play flawlessly and come away with possession for his side.
Following that first real sight at goal for New Milton, another chance came in the 33rd minute. Again it was Louka, who this time found himself one on one with Cameron Scott but drilled the ball into the side netting.
In the 38th minute the ball arrived out on the right hand touchline at the feet of Olly Searle, and what happened next can only be described as a moment of pure quality.
The winger cut back inside on to his weaker left foot and curled a sumptuous finish into the far top corner, just out of the reach of the despairing keeper. 0-1 Portchester.
The goal would have come as a massive relief to the Royals, after a mix of quality keeping and poor finishing in the moments prior meant that it looked like the ball was never going to hit the back of the net.
Saunders men had a chance to double their lead just before halftime, but this time it was Rob Evans long shot that was well held.
Halftime: New Milton Town 0-1 AFC Portchester
The second half started at a very high and energetic pace. In the 48th minute Evans missed what looked like an inevitable goal as he somehow put the ball over from just eight yards.
The story of first half continued to unfold in the second as New Milton’s keeper continued to protect his goal with real authority. This time Harry Gregory missing a good oppertunity.
Steve Ramsey was a real standout man for the Royals in the second half getting a lot of the ball and starting countless attacks. He was the next man to go close, smashing the ball off the post from all of 25 yards out in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later out of nowhere New Milton were down to ten men, after left back Tom Gagan received his marching orders from the referee following a high tackle on Robbie Evans on the left touchline.
The sending off really slowed the tempo and pace of the game with both sides struggling to find their rhythm again.
This was until the 75th minute when a well-worked move found its way to Badacchino who almost finished which would have been a beautiful team goal.
The royals could relax when the second goal finally came in the 85th minute. With the strikers having chance after chance saved by the New Milton keeper, it was a centre half that got the all-important second. Josh Warren climbing highest to head in a great free kick delivery from Royals skipper Joe Bye.
Following the second goal the royals saw out the remainder of the game comfortably and claimed a well deserved 0-2 win.
The AFC Portchester manager Ian Saunders was happy to see his team progress to the next round;
“After the FA Cup game at the weekend, I’m happy with the result and the performance was not too bad either”
“A few of the lads had to dig in really hard after a big 90 minutes on Saturday, but they did very well”
“It was good to see the two young Harry’s (Birmingham and Gregory) make their first starts, and a big boost to have Moody back involved”
“We are doing well, but the boys will have to be switched on for a big FA Vase tie this weekend”
“I’m happy to be in the next round of the Hampshire Senior Cup and will be hoping for a nice home draw”
By Hugo Butler
NEW MILTON TOWN 0-2 AFC PORTCHESTER
Hampshire Senior Cup Match Report